In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Stephanie Raquel, Golden Races CEO Martin Watcher discusses the opportunities of virtual game in a thriving MMA industry.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is considered by some to be the fastest growing sport in the world. In the past decade alone, viewership in has increased from hundreds of thousands to millions.
While MMA is often associated with the UFC’s blood-soaked cages, the sport has originated in Asia and has been in the region for several decades. Some even consider the late Bruce Lee as the father of MMA for putting together the four pillars of martial arts.
But the sport itself has only become popular in the region just a few years ago, thanks to the concerted efforts of a number of MMA fans – like ONE Championship co-founder Chatri Sityodtong – who felt compelled to showcase the sport’s beauty not just to Asia, but to the entire world.
At present, MMA in Asia has grown into a billion-dollar industry that everyone seems to take a bite at, including Golden Races chief executive officer Martin Watcher, who is eyeing to expand his market reach in Asia by introducing a new gaming product called Real Fighting.
The Malta-based virtual betting software firm, which was established in 2006 in Europe, is said to be the biggest operator for retail for virtual sports.
“The main core on our games is that we try to make pre-recorded virtual sports, which means, we are not focused too much on 3D animations. We try to get realistic people, and we pre-record them, and we bring them in the game,” Watcher told CalvinAyre.com.
Recognizing that MMA fans have a penchant for watching fights as they happens, Watcher said his company developed a game that showcases pre-recorded fights of at least 18 professional fighters from all over the world, most of whom were world champions in different martial arts.
The company, according to Watcher, tried to make the game realistic by putting real bookmakers to make realistic odds and gamers can run it 24/7.
“We brought them together in a professional movie studio and we let them fight for a few days, actually 10 days. We made everything in Chroma so we can change the background. So we have a pre-recorded fight event, this is 3D-background where we can change everything we want. For example, it is easy to make the Venetian or example the City of Dreams as a background for the fight,” he explained.
The Golden Races executive, who was eyeing to make a mark in the region, hopes that his product will become a hit in Asia.
“It becomes very popular in Europe and we believe if it is in Asia, it will be a new market,” he said.