According to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, Malaysians have spent US$87.5 million on MLBB, which is more money than any other country has spent on the game.
Given its popularity, it’s no wonder that Hatten Land, a property developer based in Melaka, has decided to partner up with the Chinese video game developer.
On August 18, Hatten Edge (Hatten Land’s wholly-owned subsidiary) signed a partnership agreement with Moonton Games, according to a press release. Under the agreement, the two parties will develop and launch an MLBB esports hub in Melaka.
Here’s what the hub is expected to look like.
A legendary space
Set to be located in Hatten Land’s Element X mall (previously and better known as Elements Mall), the integrated esports hub will use Mobile Legend’s IP for the mall building’s façade as well as its interior decorations.
The publicly available partnership agreement states that to signal Mobile Legends’ physical presence at Element X, Hatten Edge will deploy multiple giant-sized outdoor displays of Mobile Legends characters.
The interior will also include an “eye-catching Mobile Legends and esports-themed design and appearance”.
The agreement further details the conversion of Hatten Place hotel into a five-star esports hotel, with certain floors designated to house MLBB-themed rooms.
Certain hotel stays will be reserved for Moonton Games for its MLBB Professional League MY players and campaign use every year.
The two parties also agreed to combined efforts to feature and promote Mobile Legends at Arena X, which is the 1,200-capacity esports arena in Element X.
On top of bolstering MLBB’s branding, the project aims to attract new visitors and boost tourism activities in Melaka, according to a press release from Hatten Land. However, this goal isn’t part of the partnership agreement.
The next chapter of Hatten’s ambition
Over the years, Melaka-based and Singapore-listed Hatten Land has been known for its ambitiousness. Just take a look at its uncompleted Harbour City project on Pulau Melaka and its crypto-mining activities.
In fact, before officially securing the partnership agreement with Moonton Games, Hatten Land had already announced in April that it would be rebranding Element X to an integrated esports experiential hub, metaverse gateway, and themed hotel accommodation.
Unfortunately, amidst its bold steps into the metaverse, Hatten Group has also gotten into some hot water, particularly with Hatten Hotel Melaka.
In a post on its Facebook account in June, Hatten Group detailed how the hospitality industry has taken a hit since mid-2018, when policies such as the introduction of tourism and hotel taxes were implemented.
Paired with the pandemic, the hotel’s developers, MDSA Development Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of Hatten), has been unable to fulfil its contractual obligations to pay purchasers the agreed guaranteed rental returns from September 1, 2018, to October 31, 2021.
According to the post, MDSA Development has proposed a restructuring payment scheme to allow for payment of all outstanding guaranteed rental payments from September 1, 2018, to October 31, 2021, with effect from January 2023.
Furthermore, the company’s 2022 Q3 report shows that the Group has reported a net loss of RM63.4 million in the nine-month period ending 31 March 2022.
The report also stated that Hatten Group’s total loans and borrowings amount to RM299.3 million. The Group’s cash and bank balances are stated to be RM5.5 million.
As such, perhaps the MLBB-themed esports hub is part of cash-strapped Hatten Group’s bid to improve its cash flow, but we can’t say for sure.
Featured Image Credit: Hatten Land