ePLDT, the ICT arm of national fixed line telecoms operator Philippines Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) has agreed to buy a 60% interest in the country’s leading online games publisher, Level Up Inc. The gaming firm, which is owned by Singapore’s Level Up! International Holdings, has an estimated 80% share of the domestic online gaming market. The move is consistent with PLDT’s strategy of bringing rich content to its internet subscribers, and eventually to its mobile subscribers. With revenues of USD10 million in 2004, the Philippine online games industry is a minnow compared with the USD400 million South Korean market. However, ePLDT believes the acquisition will help it to create greater demand for fixed line and wireless broadband services. Level Up offers a plethora of online games, including multiplayer online role-playing games such as Ragnarok and ROSE online, and arcade games like Hyper Relay.
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