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‘Agawan Base’ in MMORPG celebrates Filipino culture online

By Kara Santos Published Apr 06, 2022 3:31 pm

Did you know that you can play the classic Filipino children’s street game “Agawan Base” online on your mobile phones?

The traditional Pinoy street game that involves trying to take opponent’s bases, is one of the games in Pacifica Online, a free-to-play MMORPG developed by a Filipino Independent video game development team.

Pacifica Online, developed by Nexus Pixel, takes inspiration from traditional Pinoy games and culture. 

Agawan Base is a game kids from the ’90s love. It is part of the Filipino culture. Karamihan ng mga online games natin ay based sa foreign themes or foreign cultures. Yung Agawan Base kasi, talagang masasabi natin na atin na atin siya,” said game programmer Donnie Ray Gianchand in an interview with CNN’s The Final Word aired on Monday, April 4.

According to Galileo Lajara, game designer and lead programmer of Pacifica Online, Agawan Base is just one of the many Pinoy elements in their multiplayer game. 

“Makikita pa natin dito yung ibang Filipino cultural items tulad ng salakot, pagkaing Pinoy tulad ng adobo tapos meron tayong characters dito sa loob ng game na petchay at kangkong. Pati na rin sandata gaya ng balisong at iba pa,” said Lajara.

Matches in the free MMORPG, which anyone can play directly from their browsers, take place in a 7 versus 7 set-up with many rooms available for simultaneous play available for people to play online. Other game modes are forthcoming, according to developers.

While it may be the first time non-gamers have heard of the Squid Game style street game crossing over to the virtual world, Pacifica Online is apparently one of the longest running 100 percent Filipino-made online games.

The game, which launched in October 2010, is turning 12 years old this year.

According to developers, the game has a player base of at least 500,000 in their database, which includes local and foreign players. Players come from all over the world, including Thailand and Canada, where Pinoys living and working there have invited their friends to play and socialize online.

“Agawan Base is part of Pacifica, which was developed in 2010, and it will be part of a bigger world. Bukod sa Agawan Base, meron tayong Habulan Tulungan at mga bagong game designs din na gustong gusto ng mga avid supporters ng Pacifica tulad ng Valzeon Invasion (PVP) at Imperial Dimension, na maihahalintulad sa ML (Mobile Legends) at iba pang eSports,” explained Gianchand.

According to Lajara, they are currently in the process of remaking the decade-old Pacifica 2D into a 3D version, which is something long-time fans and supporters are looking forward to. The closed beta is expected to be launched sometime in 2022.

They make it a point to livestream their games to show the ongoing development of the remake and hope that Pinoy-made games will eventually break their way to mainstream consciousness and perhaps be part of the eSports arena in the future.

“We Filipinos are very competitive in a good sense and yun yung gusto natin mangyari, na yung mga parts of Pacifica maging bahagi ng eSports din,” said Gianchand.

Want to learn more about how to play Agawan Base and other min-games in Pacifica Online? Watch the full interview with game developers on CNN below and play the game here