Dutch firm taps BPO firm to develop multi-layer online game

A DUTCH-OWNED company Maata Games has tapped Davao City-based business process outsourcing (BPO) company for the development of a new massively multi-player online game (MMOG).

The partnership will be the first of its kind to be done between the Davao-based ICT-BPO company, Next BPO Solutions Inc. (NBSI), and the Netherland-based game development company.

MMOG is "an online video game which can be played by a very large number of people simultaneously."

Entitled as Erectus, the game is about the clash of civilizations of Homo Sapiens and Homo Erectus 130,000 years ago. The game is targeted for players who are 16 years old and above.

The development started early this month and is expected to be completed for launch on March 2015, wherein it will be first introduced in four languages -- English, Dutch, Japanes, and Tagalog.

Maata Games managing partner Paul Ludwig told reporters on Friday evening that the conceptualization, designing, and the development of the gameplay and storyline has already been done in the Netherlands and the programming and coding will be done here in Davao City by five developers from NBSI.

He said they have sent a scrum master to prepare the Davao City developers for the game development of Erectus. Ludwig will be travelling back and forth between the Netherlands and Davao to check on the game development.

Ludwig said once completed, Erectus will be a free to play browser-based game wherein players will "raise" their civilization to attack or form alliances with other players. He said an in-game shop will be available where players can purchase things to boost their camp.

He said they have considered outsourcing the work in Eastern Europe but decided to go for the Philippines because the cost of doing business here would be cheaper.

"One thing that I was very sure of is programmers here are really qualified to do the job... I am certain the job here will be done properly," Ludwig said, adding that what makes the Philippine programmers unique is that they are able to work efficiently in a team environment.

He said the partnership between NBSI and Maata Games will not be a one-time partnership but will be a continuing one once the game is launched. After the browser-based Erectus is launched, they are hoping to develop it into a mobile game application once they are able to grab a large market of players.

He said what set this game apart from their competitors is it is more focused on the storyline and has a lot of history in it.

"The project basically shows that it can be done here in Davao City. We are very competitive in the skills side," said Xavier Eric B. Manalastas, president and chief executive officer of NBSI.

"This is a good milestone for the software industry of Davao City. We are very pleased to showcase the quality and capabilities of our developers here and the Maata Games has selected Davao City to be the launching pad for their global game," Atty. Sam Matunog, president of ICT Davao, said in a statement.
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