No matter how complicated the Philippines' VTuber scene can be, there are still companies who saw its potential to grow a following. One such company is Singapore-based CRAZIA Pte. Ltd, the company behind the esports-oriented VTuber production group VOLs.
VOLs' founder Yosuke Arai is in the country, and we were lucky to have a conversation with him following its debut launch party held at Aniporium in Makati City Sunday, June 16.
As we continue our conversation with Mr. Arai through email, we discover why CRAZIA first started its VTuber operations in the country.
Why VOLs Chose the Philippines First?
As a company based in Singapore, why choose the Philippines as your first destination?
Yosuke Arai: As a VTuber production company based in Singapore, we carefully considered various factors when selecting the Philippines as our first destination. Here are some reasons behind our decision:
- Rich talent pool: The Philippines has a vibrant and diverse talent pool with a strong presence in the entertainment industry. Since we focus on games, especially esports, I recognized the immense potential for discovering and nurturing talented VTubers in the country.
- Strong VTuber community: The Philippines has a strong anime and cosplay community with enthusiastic fans. Now a lot of people are watching international VTuber talents. By bringing Japanese taste VTuber with local talents and establishing our presence in the Philippines, we aim to tap into this thriving community and foster a local fanbase for our VTubers.
- Cultural affinity: There are many people who like Japanese Anime and comics, which we would fulfill the needs with Japanese taste VTuber contents. By bringing those contents to the Philippines, we seek to bridge the two countries' creative communities and explore synergies in content creation.
- Globalization opportunity: There are a lot of hidden gems of talents who are eager to be showcased onto the global stage in the Philippines. VOLs VTuber production wants to provide the opportunity to export such talents globally.
Overall, choosing the Philippines as our first destination aligns with our vision, making craze in Asia and going into global markets by harnessing local talents and engaging with a growing VTuber community. We are excited about the opportunities and look forward to creating unique and captivating VTuber contents together with our Philippine talents.
VOLs' Ace in the Sleeve
As we all know, the VTuber industry is already saturated with different talents and agencies being established. Here in the Philippines, VOLs is only one of few groups coming from established/registered companies.
What will be the edge of VOLs compared to other local groups/companies, and of course internationally?
Indeed, it's true that there are numerous talents and agencies already established in the field. However, I believe VOLs can stand out with several advantages:
- Compared to the local groups/companies, we can bring more Japanese-taste VTuber characters by closely working with Japanese illustrators and Live2D modelers among our network.
- International companies would focus on exporting what they already have, exporting their own design into the market. Whereas VOLs, we are all about the Philippines community, we listen to their needs and try to bring what the market wants and bring Otaku culture based on the needs in PH.
- On top of this, our company CRAZIA is developing more technology support for our VTuber talents, which will enable our fans to have more immersed and engaging experiences with our talents moving forward.
Onboarding Popular Artists to Create Characters
What made you decide to seek the help of popular VTuber artists to develop each characters' designs?
Sensual experiences come from our different senses, visual hearing, it needs to match. We believe the talents are the soul of the VTuber, however the VTuber design and art style are also equally important to deliver the experiences that represent the talents unique characteristic. That’s why we tried to work with the skillful artists in Japan.
Since we try to mix Japan VTuber culture into South East Asia markets by localizing the contents, we wanted to work with Japanese illustrators who already have experience designing international talents especially for the South East Asia market.
By seeking the help of popular VTuber artists, we aim to leverage their expertise, reputation, artistic styles, and fan engagement to develop exceptional and appealing character designs. I believe this collaborative approach enhances the overall quality and appeal of our VTubers, positioning them for success in the competitive VTuber industry.
Striving for Bigger Impact in the Scene
We understand that you are aiming for bigger impact by holding this debut watch party in person.
How else do you plan to build your audience here in the Philippines and be noticed by industry colleagues and the community in general?
It’s all about the fans for us right now. I cannot tell the details yet though, apart from the debut watch party, we are going to have engaging social media initiatives for our audiences; as well as organize local events to directly engage with our fans, strengthen our connection with them, and raise awareness about our VTubers and their contents.
After the Philippines, which country would you like to establish VTuber talents under VOLs?
As for expanding beyond the Philippines, the next country would depend on various factors. We are now carefully evaluating opportunities in different regions and considering factors like existing VTuber communities, language accessibility, cultural similarities, and market potential to make a decision on the next country for our VTuber talents.
By implementing a comprehensive audience-building strategy and carefully selecting the next country for expansion, VOLs aims to establish a strong presence not only in the Philippines but also other markets.