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Welcome to this week’s edition of Culture Wire, a newsletter brought to you by Singapore-based pop culture and lifestyle marketing agency Culture Group.

In this week’s edition:

  • Innovation of the Week: The latest music touring act you didn’t know about
  • Fax, No Printer: What sphere is Gen Z influencing next?
  • Regional Round-up: Governments dropping rap songs, coffee tables made of crab shells, and the rise (and rise!) of Asian BL on the global stage.

Innovation of the Week


To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the popular mobile game Genshin Impact, publisher HoYoverse is launching Genshin Concert Tour: Melodies of an Endless Journey, a live orchestra performance of the game’s original soundtrack (OST). During Early Bird sales, tickets for the Singapore shows were sold out within 5 minutes, while the Malaysian on-sale site crashed due to overwhelming demand. General public sales start on Monday.

💡 Our take

Genshin Impact is one of the most popular mobile games in recent times – it made between USD 2.3-3.5B in its first year, more than any other game did, and beat Fortnite for the most profitable first year. Regular readers would know that Southeast Asians love mobile gaming: over 40% of SEA gamers play for more than 16 hours a week, compared to only 30% in the US.

One element that people might be less familiar with, however, is the importance of music to the gaming experience. After all, when playing a game for hours on end, players need a score that compliments the gameplay well. Genshin Impact spared no expense here – the game’s OST was created by well-known Chinese composer Chen Yu-peng and performed by leading ensembles including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. 

High-budget music may be expected from AAA console games – think titles like the Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda franchises – but not typically mobile-first games which are long-known for generic chiptune music. The appreciation for the music of Genshin Impact has become a core part of the Genshin Impact fan experience, complete with its own merchandise

The key lesson for marketers here? Gaming’s popularity extends into various adjacent passion points, with music being one of them. The key is to understand the different ways people are engaging with the gaming experience, beyond pure gameplay. As early as 2019, Culture Group paired the Manila Symphony Orchestra with Riot Games for a performance at the Conquerors Manila fan festival. The opportunity is just as relevant today!

A final point to end with. We know that the live entertainment space in Southeast Asia is booming. Not all brands have the scale or budget to partner with global touring acts or the hottest new venues. But there are still surprising niches within live entertainment which might not be as familiar to marketers, yet command a significant and passionate fanbase nonetheless – like symphonic orchestra concerts of game soundtracks. Not sure where to start? Culture Group is here to help 😉 

Fax, No Printer*

For those of you born before 1997, ‘fax, no printer‘ is Gen Z speak for ‘undeniable facts I agree with’

Which area of society is Gen Z extending their influence to next?




Scroll down to the end of the newsletter for the correct answer!

Regional Round-up

🍟 In other SEA gaming news, Mister Potato has inked a deal to be the official snacking partner for the 12th season of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Malaysia (MPL MY). Through the partnership, MLBB characters will be featured on the packaging of Mister Potato’s products. A snacking and gaming duo just makes sense. What passion points can you blend next?

💳 Mastercard is offering consumers in 17 Asia Pacific markets discounts on all flights booked on’s app when they pay with any Mastercard debit or credit cards. Another reminder that travel is back with a vengeance – found that flights booked in the first two weeks of August increased by 160% compared to last year. How will your brand facilitate consumers’ quest for experiences?

👗 Fashion brand COS just launched a sustainable new store at Bangkok’s EmQuartier. The shop utilizes eco-friendly material and is decked in locally-sourced furnishings, think coffee tables made of crab shells from local food waste. Embedding sustainability allows brands not just to go green, but also craft unique stories around the consumer experience.

🏳️‍🌈 Taipei-based LGBTQ+-focused streaming platform, GagaOOLala, has reported that 65% of its 3M subscribers are from outside Asia. Regular readers would be familiar with the success of KinnPorsche and the Thai BL genre. The soaring global demand for Asian BL titles is further demonstrating that niche is now normal.

🤘🏼 The Singapore Government Technology Agency (GovTech) has dropped Be Sure, a rap song complete with a K-pop-inspired chorus, to educate the public on how they can keep their national ID accounts (Singpass) safe from scams. The jury is out on whether the song is cool, but communicating in your audience’s language is a powerful way to cut through the noise.

This Week's Trivia Answer

B. Workplace

According to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer report, 93% of respondents said they have been influenced by their coworkers in their twenties, shifting their perspectives on topics including work-life boundaries, openness to new technology and self advocacy.

In previous editions, we discussed how more Gen Zs have become parents. This is another reminder that Gen Zs are no longer just the key demographic to be marketed to, but their attitudes and expectations are fast influencing all other spheres of society. How well is your brand keeping up with this growing cohort?

🚀 Over and Out!

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Your Culture Mavens,

Acacia, Aliya, Angela, Kiko, & Vicki