The high-performance gaming hardware company Razer has decided to enter the mobile device market. Confirmed last week, the San Francisco company plans to develop a gamer-oriented smartphone by the end of 2017.
For gamers, by gamers
In an interview with CNBC last week, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan confirmed the company’s smartphone plans.
“One of the most hotly rumored things about Razer is that we’re coming up with a mobile device,” Tan said. “And I can say that we are coming up with a mobile device specifically geared toward gamers and entertainment. We’re hoping to have it come … by the end of the year, so that’s something we’re working on.”
Razor taking aim at the mobile gaming market doesn’t come as such a surprise given the increasing popularity and success of the industry. Additionally, the company foreshadowed joining the mobile gaming universe when it acquired NextBit last year. NextBit is an Android startup that created the NextBit Robin smartphone, a device with a strong focus on cloud storage.
“We realized that a lot of our gamers are also passionate about the mobile gaming market, so we’ve done a couple of moves,” Tan said in that same CNBC interview.
The announcement came as part of Razer’s plans for an initial public offering in Hong Kong. According to Bloomberg, the valuation of the company should come in at $3-5 billion. Razer plans to use Hong Kong as an entry point for its expansion into China’s $25 billion gaming market.
According to Euromonitor International, the global video game industry is projected to reach $146 billion in 2020. That would be a 25 percent increase over this year’s $117 billion. The Asia-Pacific market is expected to grow even faster, by 39 percent until 2020. According to the data from Euromonitor, 40 percent of this growth should come from gaming software alone.
Razer and esports
Founded in Singapore in 2005, Razer became a gaming brand name after developing high-end computer peripherals for gamers. The company is currently among the top sellers of keyboards, mice, headsets, and other products related to the gaming universe.
When it comes to esports, Razer is a staple. Besides its product popularity, the company also sponsors over 300 esports athletes and some of the industry’s biggest organizations. These include Team Liquid, SK Telecom T1, and SK Gaming. Moreover, Razer continuously develops its software platform, which connects more than 35 million users.
With a potential fresh capital injection from the planned IPO, the company would have additional resources to keep introducing new products.
“Having that war chest from the IPO would allow us to do all that and much more,” Tan said. “And that’s what we want to continue doing: to make cool products.”