EXA Global, under the umbrella of digital entertainment and technology company Havson Group is unveiling Malaysia’s first ever Hyper Reality Experience at Setiawalk EXA Outpost.
Referred by EXA Global as South-East Asia’s first ever Hyper-Reality Family Entertainment Center, players will be able to experience a fully immersive, wireless, free-roaming gaming experience at EXA Outpost. This is made possible thanks to the combination of highly advanced virtual reality technologies like untethered backpack setup and multi-user motion capture system employed by EXA Global.
Richard Lee, the CEO of EXA Global explained that engagement is core to the project designed by the team. The focus is to get players involved in the technology to become part of the story.
“Getting the right module, enhancing the formula, experience and content are key components when creating and building an immersive advanced technology to have people sharing their hyper-reality experience with others,” said Lee.
Upon its launching, EXA Outpost will be featuring an exclusive VR multiplayer sci-fi shooter and space exploration mission, named EXA Dimension 12. Imagine role-playing Starship Troopers or Mass Effect in a fully immersive space dimension, that’s what the EXA Dimension 12 is all about. In the mission, players known as Troopers will first be transported to the Ingress room, where they will receive their EXA gears (guns, backpacks, and other wearables) for the upcoming exploration. Once geared up, players will then be dispatched and transported to the Dimension 12, it is here that the players will ride along a thrilling storyline, receive instructions to investigate unexplored regions, and fight off vicious extra-dimensional monsters with a diversified profile of advanced weaponries.
“Being that part of the story for our players is important to us, as we know experience is something valuable we at EXA Global can offer,” said Lee.
EXA Dimension 12, being fully developed in-house by EXA Global, is a respectable feat demonstrated by the talents of the team. For EXA Global, being able to develop content in-house also means they are not reliant on 3rd party developers for their future VR content. This opens a door to a promising future for EXA Global as they are free to develop any content that falls inline with their business strategy. In fact, this advantageous edge can already be observed as EXA Global has already started working on additional VR contents that revolve around horror and kids-friendly themes to expand their content portfolio.
Moving forward, the company notes that it is planning to open future locations around the world, targeting North America, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Australia, and the neighboring countries surrounding Malaysia. Bigger flagship centers ranging from 10,000 square feet to football size venue will also be opened in future to house a bigger crowd, according to Lee.
Other than looking for rapid market expansion, the company is also looking to upgrade its VR hardware to further improve its hyper-reality experience. In the upcoming future, EXA Global will be developing a full body suit with haptic feedback that is mapped according to traditional Chinese acupuncture points to improve the surrealism of the game. Other wearables like VR gloves and augmented reality (AR) wristband will also be developed alongside the full body suit.
Another noteworthy future expansion for EXA Global is the development of VR eSport. With the rise of eSport in recent years, it is also part of EXA Global’s strategy to tap into this trend and pioneer the VR eSport scene. To achieve this, offering player-vs-player (PvP) experience at its VR centers will be one of the upcoming focuses for EXA Global. Seeing the success of eSports giants like Dota 2 (offering a prize pool of whopping $20,770,460 USD for its tournament) and League of Legend (having an active monthly user base of 100 millions players), the potential of VR as the future mainstream eSport is definitely a huge one.
“As part of the creative and innovative pioneer in digital entertainment and technology Havson Group, between ourselves we aim to create the ultimate immersive Hyper-Reality Studio experience within this region,” said Lee.
Located at SetiaWalk, Puchong, EXA Outpost consists of two rooms whereby one is dedicated to the games while the other is a Hyper Reality Arcade Entertainment Center where players can play VR arcade games. Open for public starting from 3rd of June, for those who wants to take a deep dive into the hyper-reality experience, players can now book for a pair of ticket at a promotional pricing of RM65 on their official website: https://www.exa-global.com/booking.php
Gear up, ladies and gentlemen! EXA GLOBAL – under the umbrella of digital entertainment and technology company Havson Group – is urgently recruiting soldiers for an immediate search and rescue mission of their fellow comrades missing in action while on an exploration to a foreign dimension, and they were hailing all new recruits to gather at the latest hyper-reality Family Entertainment Center (FEC) at SetiaWalk’s EXA Outpost, to be “transported” and save their comrades from danger at their recent launch.
The latest disruptive FEC to invade the gaming scene in Malaysia, EXA Outpost at SetiaWalk is a first-person, hyper-reality immersive experience that puts players right smack dab in the middle of a dimension exploration. EXA Outpost brags the rights to be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, being a quality full-service Hyper-Reality–FECs (Family Entertainment Centers) that will command the approval of the predominantly Malaysian community which it serve.
Mr. Richard Lee, CEO of EXA Global said that engagement is the core to every project being designed by the team – to get their players involved in the technology, to be a part of the story, and experience the game together as a team.
“EXA Outpost is a project of exploration; we invite friends and family to explore, to engage, to defend and return home with an experience where they can share with one another. The moment they book their tickets, we want them to experience the story together as a team,” said Mr. Lee during the launch of EXA Outpost recently.
“Getting the right module, enhancing the formula, experience and content are key components when creating and building an immersive advanced technology to have people sharing their hyper-reality experience with others. Being that part of the story for our players is important to us, as we know experience is something very valuable we at EXA Global can offer.”
A mixture of both physical and hyper-reality attractions that holds a fully immersive, wireless free roaming concept, the gaming content of EXA Outpost are created and developed solely by EXA Global themselves. A Sci-fi shooting game involving multi-players of four in a closed room, troopers will firstly be placed in EXA Outpost’s Ingress room for a briefing on their mission and safety conditions, where they will be suited up with the EXA Gear – player-wearable technology consisting of backpacks, guns, headset, batteries and charging system.
Players will then experience the real highlight of the dimension exploration along with the outer space atmosphere through their ANGKAS system, providing troopers with a more surreal and breathtaking experience. Players will immerse themselves in a surreal movie-like graphic story of being trained as new recruits equivalent to Starship Troopers in a graphically-enhanced Mission Room, receiving orders from a certain Commander Rick and dispatched to explore a foreign dimensional space that will leave players in awe and admire the ‘reality’ of an unexplored realm. Players are instructed to navigate the deep caves of the dimension and investigate the area, encouraging them to explore, engage and experience the whole story and the surreal atmosphere they are transported into, and work together as a team to conquer their mission when encountering large and vicious alien-like monsters.
Mr. Lee emphasized that its innovative facilities will have a positive impact within the Family Entertainment Centers both in Malaysia and on a global scale – having fully analysed and researched the market to effusively enhance the augmented reality solution for both gamers and non-gamers. He went on to add that there are more enhancements and developments to be made to allow their players visiting EXA Outpost have the full immersive experience in letting them feel what EXA Global wants them to feel.
“As part of the creative and innovative pioneer in digital entertainment and technology Havson Group, between ourselves we created the ultimate immersive Hyper-Reality Studio experience within this region.
“With great minds combined, we successfully developed a unique and distinctive system of high quality Hyper-Reality Entertainment Centers and create an exceptional yet incredible experience bringing hyper-reality to a new height,” said Mr. Lee.
Mr. Lee added that Team Building and Communication have always been the pillars embedded in EXA Global’s hyper-reality projects, as they truly believe that hyper-reality can bring people together and providing them that opportunity to let themselves go and immerse in communication to achieve a goal together.
“At EXA Outpost, the “wow” factor is something we want to evoke in people, as the stories we tell and the experience we give, is what each and every person will be bringing home and return for more, as such experience is always crucial in every project we do,” said Mr. Lee.
EXA Outpost also consists of two rooms: dedicated to the games and a Hyper-Reality Arcade Entertainment Centre where patrons can play VR arcade games.
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Children’s storytelling startup Kaishu Story, otherwise known as Kaishu Jianggushi in Chinese has raised RMB 90 million (about US$13 million) for its Series B funding round.
New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc., one of the largest private educational services in China led the investment.
The round also saw the participation from Chinese growth capital firm Trustbridge Partners, Shanghai-listed Zhejiang Daily Digital Culture Group and iResearch Capital.
Kaishu Story was launched by former CCTV host Wang Kai and represents a children’s content brand focusing on children’s stories, with additional products such as audio series and online parenting courses.
To date, the platform has expanded to a total of 2,033 audiobooks which amounts to 23,363 minutes played over 1.5 billion times. Some of the titles include “Kaishu’s Journey to the West”, “Little Prince”, and “Kaishu’s 365 nights”, to name a few.
The startup claims that it has six million users on its content platform through a WeChat public account, a mobile app and audio shows. It targets to generate the revenue of RMB200 million (about US$29 million) in 2017.
Kaishu will use the latest capital to build a national children’s brand, investing in a wider range of product development related to children’s content and moving on to the parenting industry.
“We are making memories, memories of the people,” said Wang Kai. “We hope that through us, every little kid from the age of two can start building on happy childhood memories.”
This funding round comes in lieu with the emergence of a new generation of content and knowledge-sharing platforms in China that have sparked investor enthusiasm.
In January, Q&A knowledge sharing platform Zhihu has raised US$100 million in a Series D round. While Shanghai Bajiulin, a new media and knowledge sharing startup founded by well-known Chinese financial writer Wu Xiaobo also raised RMB 160 million (about US$23 million) in the same month.
Following Southeast Asia’s entrepreneurs and burgeoning startup scene, Venture Capital News Network has noticed the prevailed adoption of content marketing which complements the startup culture.
Venture Capital News Network recently spoke with entrepreneur and online marketing consultant Daniel Tan about the use of content marketing strategies within the startup culture. Startups are currently leading the field in the use of content marketing, and more and more startups are adopting the approach to quickly expand and engage a wider audience. Tan offered valuable insights on why this should be the case, and why the trend will continue to grow.
Tan explains that content is not only thriving, it is diversifying, and the common trend is for content to become more niche specific. Attentions spans get shorter and competition increases, meaning content must get specific to be engaging. Startups generally only have one key product or service aimed at solving a specific problem, meaning they are naturally suited to thrive in the new area.
Tan identifies user-generated content and influencers as another major trend that startups seem purpose built to harness, with consumer feedback and content creation seen as more trustworthy than content from the business itself. This saves resources for startups on generating content, encouraging them instead to ‘curate’ content generated by early adopters.
The most important reason however is that startups start their marketing strategy from scratch, making it easier for content to take the focus than in already well-established businesses.
In the interview, Daniel Tan explained, “Startups are highly nimble entities and are looking for the greatest ROI from a minimal investment. They don’t have a pre-established marketing department with fixed and often outdated ideas about how to communicate. As a result, content is the default strategy, and diversifying it leads to other complementary approaches. That’s why startups are so successful with content marketing and why they’re seriously disrupting the landscape that multinationals have held onto for nearly a decade. My advice would be to ensure startups document that strategy to keep things on track.”
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Online media startup Boombastis has recently secured an undisclosed pre-Series A funding from Unistellar, a venture development and advisory firm which pulls funds from Southeast Asian high-net-worth individuals and institutions.
Based in Jakarta, Unistellar help entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level by providing practice knowledge, strategic direction, talent management, and relevant business network to accelerate the growth of their business partners.
Boombastis is Unistellar’s first media company that was successfully launched in 2014. Since its site went live, the startup has accumulated a total of 16.9 million page views and a proclaimed 4 million users per month.
The online media platform grew the traffic on the basis of creating viral content which targets the Indonesian Alay market, that is in reference to the audiences in the middle to lower tier of the market which has a size of over 30 million.
Besides viral content, the site also delivers informative content as well including lifestyle tips.
The startup has also been operating on a very lean cost. According to Pascal Sembel, the managing partner of Unistellar, “the editorial team consists of only four full-time employees. The rest are freelancing contributors whom we are paying per article.”
“Barrier to entry in this sector is very low. It’s so easy to become a media entrepreneur these days,” said Nendra Rengganis, the CEO of Boombastis. “But only content business is not profitable, you need to come up with different revenue streams.”
Rengganis further explained, “some have started to create their own communities, launching their own product or setting up merchandise stores. That is one of the ways to maintain independence.”
In this aspect, Boombastis will introduce a string of new features, including what it calls a new kind of news, infotainment, and Youth Muslim Media. Moreover, with the fresh capital, the startup expects to reach a break-even point in the next three to six months.
Boombastis currently competes with Kumparan, Brillo, Hipwee, IDNtimes, Malesbanget.com, Baca, and many others in the attempt to dominate the pop-culture driven millennial market segment in Indonesia.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media