Many have raised their eyebrows over the repeatedly mentioning of RaidCall as the new sponsor of organisations and different kinds of tournaments within the eSports scene. These are, among others, Evil Geniuses and Fnatic as well as the ESL tournaments "IEM World Championships" and "ESL RaidCall EMS One". How is it that a previously unknown developer of a VoIP software for gaming enthusiasts have been able to take such strong steps into the eSports scene? Where will the money come from when the software is completely free? The answer is spelled Kunlun Inc.
Anyone who has looked a little closer at RaidCall.com quickly realize that there are no information about the company. The only clue that is to be found can be found in the user agreement where a company named Koram Games Limited stands as counterparty for the agreement. Attempts to contact Koram Games directly did not result in anything other than an email that bounced. At this point it seemed like the only way to contact the company was thru one of the Gmail addresses stated on the RaidCall website. This also gave us response. The answer came from one of RaidCalls representatives named Silvana Zhang, who was really helpful and answered the questions Fragbite delivered.
Kunlun Inc's logo.
A Kunlun Inc Group company
RaidCall is one of four companies that are part of a business group called Kunlun Inc Group. The other three are Kunlun Inc., Koram Games Ltd. and Brothersoft. The main business area of Kunlun are browser-based games, an area where they are market leaders in China according to themselves. The company is headquartered in the Chinese capital Beijing, but are also represented in a number of other Asian countries as well as Europe and North America. The company was founded in March 2008 and their game titles are played today by over 61 million people worldwide. Something that Shaka Yu, Deputy Director at the Kunlun Inc., says guarantees a good revenue, which sounds promising for the eSports scene. This, says Shaka Yu, is also why the Kunlun Inc. can develop a free software like RaidCall.
Want to develop a social network
The RaidCall software is, according to the developers, in an early stage of development, which could explain the lack of information on their website. The goal of RaidCall is to develop a new special social network, unlike the existing ones such as Facebook and Google+. The information about this goal is sparse. The fact that RaidCall will continue to be free to use is however very clear.
- RaidCall must be free and easy. We hope RaidCall would help more users enjoy the pleasure of game. And this is also mutually beneficial for players, game distributors and RaidCall, says Shaka Yu in a statement.
The ambitious goals are explained by Shaka Yu's fascination by Google. This has resulted in an internal goal for the Kunlun Inc employees stating that all products made by the company shall be perfect, just like Yu consider Google's products to be. This fascination do also serve as an explanation to why they have chosen to use Google's email platform, Gmail. It's all about the ease of connecting to different types of community platforms and the simplicity of the service.
RaidCall sponsors the IEM World Championships.
Want to push the eSports industry forward
Browser-based games and VoIP software in all its glory. The reason why Fragbite have looked into RaidCall is after all their efforts within the eSports scene. As title sponsors of tournaments with tens of thousands of euros in the prize pool, one can wonder why Kunlun Inc has chosen to focus so hard on eSports. According to themselves there's two reasons.
- First, E-sports has been growing pretty fast, and we hope we would push this industry forward by our effort. Second, those users E-sports cover are the very targets of RaidCall.
It is not only by sponsoring that RaidCall and Kunlun Inc invests in eSports. The RaidCall software itself serves as an effort to make it easier for both regular gamers and eSports competitors to play their game. This is done by implementing support for Twitch and to make it easier to use and control their VoIP software while inside a game.
Continued development and IPO
Kunlun Inc. is by this point a privately held company, but an IPO application for listing on the stock exchange market has been submitted in China, which could raise more capital to the company. This, we hope, may result in more sponsorship commitments from Kunlun Inc and RaidCall in the future. Until then, however, awaits IEM World Championships and RaidCall EMS One, as well as the continued development of the RaidCall VoIP software.
Whether we'll see the name RaidCall in conjunction with major organisations and international tournaments in the future or not remains to be seen. However, it's very obvious that the conditions are promising.
Footnote: VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is a way to deliver voice communications over the Internet.