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Philippines’ pioneering studio Anino Games partners with Globe Telecommunications, returns with its own game after a decade

Philippines’ pioneering studio Anino Games partners with Globe Telecommunications, returns with its own game after a decade

| January 28, 2014

If you’re a gamer from the Philippines, you might remember the game Anito from 2003. It was the first video game developed and published by Anino Games, the first game development studio in the Philippines. In later years, Anino Games transitioned into a third party developer and made games for companies like EA, Activision, Disney, Playdom, Namco, Bigfish, and Gamehouse.

But once a game dev, always a game dev. Anino Games has returned with a new, original game, Manila Rush.

But not that original: it’s another endless runner

Manila Rush is an endless runner game which puts you in the magical flip flops of Miguel as he runs against the traffic flow in one of the most notorious highways of Manila — the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, better known as EDSA. The game obviously targets a Filipino audience, especially those who know what it’s like travelling along EDSA. You will recognize establishments along the road, and even experience swerving cars and road construction, though at some point you will be thankful that there is at least no traffic jam.

Manila Rush

Recognize that yellow and red building over there?

If you were wondering, Anino Games know that their game is a clone. CEO Neil Dagondon said that the team wanted to “create a game with an already established game mechanic and add a Filipino twist to it.” He added:

We had a limited budget [and development time] and already had an existing runner engine available, and we felt we could make it funny enough to appeal to the Filipino gamer and get them talking about it.

Dagondon also mentioned the studio’s desire to make a game that they can proudly call their own. The Philippine market has made it difficult to make a living from original IPs and self-published, or indie, games. It was only last year that they felt the market was maturing and decided to test the waters to see if the local gaming community would support locally-made games. If Manila Rush does well, Dagondon says Anino Games will make bolder and bigger locally-themed projects.

Partnering with Globe Labs for operator billing

One of the greatest challenges for game developers is monetizing their game. After all, at the end of the day, game development is still a business. And a business is not a business when you can’t earn from it.

According to Dagondon, the Philippines is ranked fourth or fifth in terms of gamer population. However, in-app purchases are particularly difficult to make in the Philippines because the credit card penetration in the country is low.

That is why Anino Games has partnered with Globe Labs to allow in-app purchases using prepaid or postpaid credits via Globe’s charging API (Application Programming Interface) tool, which allows developers to integrate an operator billing feature in their apps. This means players no longer have to use credit cards when making in-app purchases. All they have to do is authorize the app so that the amount will be deducted from their existing prepaid credit or be charged to their postpaid bill. Anino Games will receive 68% of the revenue made from purchases with the app.

At the time of this article’s publication, Manila Rush is the first mobile game to use this kind of payment method, though not exclusively. Globe’s charging API is open to all developers.

Manila Rush is available for download forAndroid and the iOS . The game is free.

UPDATE 13-02-14: This article has been updated to add the iOS download link.

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  • Mark John


    1. Di mo kayang sabunin ang mata mo.
    2. Di mo kayang bilangin ang buhok mo
    3. Di mo kayang huminga sa ilong pag Nakalabas ang dila mo.
    4. Ginawa mo yung pangatlo.
    5. Nung ginawa mo yung No.3, Naisip mong pwede naman pala. Kaso mukha kang aso.
    6. Nakangiti ka ngayon kasi nauto kita.
    7. Ishi-share mo to ngayon, para makaganti ka sa iba.. XD

  • Niel dagondon

    Thanks xairylle and gaminasia for featuring our game! I just wanted to clarify my comment that filipinos are usually ranked 4th or 5th in volume of gamers in many popular english games (online , facebook, mbile, etc) – that is anecdotal data and i am not talking about the total gaming population size of the philippines. Since i am talking about english games, these automatically exclude non english gamers (korean, japanese) who have none to limited communities in those games. Cheers and thanks again.

    • niel

      u a fag tho, rot in rat’s piss u dumbfck

      • Nielisafag

        look at me, i climb mountains and suck polar bear dicks. srsly, set yourself on fire and give ms nicole to me. hubba hubba

        • Bystander

          seriously you need some growing up to do with your issues.

        • Hipster

          Lighten up dude. If you have issues with a guy settle it like a man and say it to his face.

  • Niel dagondon

    Sorry for the typos. Doing this from an ipad.

  • NNg

    Manila Rush is basically Subway Surfers set in the Philippines and with cars in place of trains.

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