Celebrity mobile apps target 60 million screens in Philippines

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 31 2017 12:11 PM

A mobile game version of Coco Martin's Ang Panday is shown in this photo. Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Fans of the hit drama Ang Probinsyano can now play television star Coco Martin's role as a crusading policeman on their mobile devices, as more celebrities attempt to parlay their success to digital.

With 60 million smartphone screens, the "potential is big" for celebrities in the Philippines to come up with a digital strategy, said Jackie Chua, co founder of mobile game developer Synergy88.

"In terms of brand awareness and recognition, it's faster kasi you do not have to reintroduce a new brand. Filipinos also love celebrities so it's easier to penetrate," Chua told ABS-CBN News.

Synergy88 developed a counterpart mobile game for Martin's upcoming Christmas movie, "Ang Panday."

Rival Xeleb Technologies developed the Ang Probinsyano game, as well as apps for restaurateur Erwan Heusaff, television host Kim Atienza and It's Showtime host Anne Curtis.

Filipino celebrities are catching on the growing trend of international celebrities seeking to replicate their television and music success on digital platforms such as the Kardashian sisters and Miley Cyrus.

Synergy88 is also working on mobile apps for the primetime television series "La Luna Sangre" and romantic comedy movie "Vince and Kath and James."

"We'll be developing more games with existing intellectual properties in the Philippines (because) it's already known and it's a big factor pa din, celebrities," Chua said.

A mobile game that can compete internationally costs at least P1 million to develop, Chua said. Hit mobile apps take roughly 6 months to break even in the Philippines, she said.

"Filipinos like something that's fun, easy to play, has a light file size and something that's very social na you get to play with your friends or against your friends," she said.

Chua said local developers consider the country's relatively slow internet speeds when developing apps.

"We want to promote Filipino content. We wanna push Philippine intellectual properties globally," she added.