KPMG Consulting has realized the collaboration between Kyoto City and US game company Hi-Rez Studios through the latter’s new shooting game, Rogue Company and has commenced several initiatives to promote the appeal of Kyoto, which has seen a decline in the number of tourists due to the COVID-19, and implement a scheme to redirect part of the in-game revenue to the efforts to protect and nurture Kyoto’s nature, landscape, and culture—hence this project for maximizing both parties’ social value. This is the first such project in Japan involving collaboration between an overseas game company and a Japanese local government to enhance the appeal of video games and contribute to solving social issues.
The Japanese game market is the third largest in the world; the demand for nesting following the spread of COVID-19 has impacted its size, which crossed two trillion yen in 2020, making it a more attractive market for overseas game companies. However, Japan’s unique consumer tastes and business customs persist as obstacles for such companies looking to enter the Japanese market. In addition, strengthening the B to B business as a new source of revenue against soaring game development costs is another challenge.
Hi-Rez is a game developer and publisher that provides Games as a service that are multi-platform and free to play. Hi-Rez’s games are played by more than 90 million users worldwide. “Rogue Company” is a team-based shooting game whose open beta version was made available in September 2020; it now boasts more than 20 million users worldwide, mainly in North America and Europe. Hi-Rez, always having considered Japan as a leading market, has been looking to strengthen its B to B business therein.
Kyoto, one of the world’s top tourist cities, has been battling an unprecedented crisis after being forced to suspend traditional events due to the spread of COVID-19 and registering a sharp decline in the number of tourists. The local economy, including sightseeing-related industries and bearers of culture and tradition, has been seriously affected. To enable its strong recovery from this crisis and a new way for it to respond to the post-pandemic situation, Kyoto has been engaged in formulating new tourism measures and adopting attractiveness dissemination methods utilizing digital technology, besides learning ways to secure new financial resources to protect and nurture its nature, landscape, and culture.
Considering this situation, KPMG Consulting, to match the ideas of both parties, proposed the production of Season 3 of Rogue Company—The Kyoto Job, which incorporates Kyoto-themed maps and items—and planned their collaboration as well as the project to maximize their social value, supporting its execution through the Project Management Office (PMO).
On the one hand, this collaboration will enable Hi-Rez to not only strengthen the Season 3 content but also donate part of the revenue to the efforts to protect and nurture Kyoto’s nature, landscape, and culture, thus propagating its contribution to the SDGs worldwide; on the other, Kyoto City will be able to take on the challenge of disseminating its appeal through games, strengthening the engagement of Kyoto fans in Japan and overseas, and acquiring new revenue sources using digital technology. This project is, thus, a mutually beneficial undertaking.