BOOMING GAME MARKETS IN ASIA – BILLION DOLLAR MARKETS FOR INVESTORS
Asia’s gaming market is evolving and becoming extremely volatile and competitive. The Asia-Pacific region is now the fastest growing gaming market in the world. China, Japan and Korea are the major players, in which:
China with revenue about $32 Billion in 2017 and $38 Billion in 2018
Japan is increased to about $19 Billion
Korea is $4 Billion
Other smaller markets as Taiwan, Indonesia, India (at approximately $1 Billion in annual revenue), Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines (nearly half a billion dollars)
Mostly, the number of Male Gamers is greater than Female, in the age group of 21-35 years old.
Asia Pacific games market is growing fast, representing a cost- effective opportunity for investors, game developers and publishers.
According to a research in 40 countries of Appsflyer, the number of “unnatural” app (ie, unintentional searching) downloads in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea increased to 37% in 2017, which is 61% higher than the global average. This means that Gamers from these countries have responded positively to the marketing and advertising of these apps.
These countries also have the most attractive viewers with revenue on advertising costs 50% higher than global average. Vietnam is currently the country with the highest return on investment (ROI) in the world, perhaps partially related to low communication costs.
In Japan, the average revenue on each app game user is more than double with the global average: $4.5 on Android and $4.8 on iOS compare to $2 globally. In Taiwan, this number is $3.7 on Android and $4.1 on iOS.
This means that investing in advertising and sponsorship marketing can yield the best ROI in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam.
Nearly half of the population is playing game, low advertising costs, Vietnam is the country with the highest ROI in game industry globally – Photo 1
Esports in Asia
South East Asia is currently the fastest growing of eSports. There are nearly 10 million people inspired by eSports, in which 2.8 million is Vietnamese and 2 million is Indonesian. This number is expected to double by 2019.
This is partly because eSports have been accepted as a competition at the 2018 Asian Games and is expected to be included in the 2022 Olympics Games.
Strategic and technical Academies are being set up in Malaysia and Singapore. While South Korea is considered as the center of eSports in Asia, it has the best team and training infrastructure. The number of tournaments is growing rapidly in this area and gamers also have more opportunities to interact with more competitors.
The economic value of eSports is also being recognized. For example, SEA in Singapore owns Garena game platform together with financial platform is Airpay. It helps combining users of these two companies by allowing digital payments for entertainment. The Company is also get support by Tencent and licensed to use Tencent games for the South East Asia market. Therefore, SEA is currently the largest e-commerce and gaming company in Singapore.
Picture of game market in some Asian countries
The number of gamers in China is huge. This country owned 28% of global game revenue in 2018. 61% of that came from mobile game and it is expected to increase to 70% by 2020. Along with that, gamers are also willing to spend more on games. But until recently, the average expenses of gamers on games in China are still less than 50% in the US.
Tencent currently is the market leader in China with over 50% of the market share of PC and mobile game revenue.
- South Korea
South Korea is known as a gaming obsession as well as the birthplace of eSports. This was probably due to the government’s decision in the 90s to invest in technology and especially the Internet. Currently more than 47 million over 51 million population are active online (nearly 93%).
The government is also continuing to support the eSports. For example, the Government teamed up with the Blizzard game developer to lead tournaments and contests related to the Starcraft game. Professional gamers become celebrities, lots of people get big sponsorship and get paid for their living expenses.
Nearly half of the country’s population is playing games, equivalent to 25.6 million. About 75% of them are men. In other places, people tend to play games at home. But in Korea, game Clubs or hey call it “PCBang” are now popular. There are about 40,000 such locations in Korea. They are part of social clubs, Internet cafes and even gaming venues. There are also quite a lot of reports about the situation of game addiction in Korea.
The popular form of gaming here is multiplayer role-playing games online. These are high-downloaded games with an average revenue per user of about $5.27 compared to the global ARPU of about $3.
Japan is the third largest game market in the world, after the US and China. This is due to the fact that more than 93% of the population is using Internet. This is the place that the mobile gaming market about the same size as the United States, with approximately 1/3 number of gamers. Japanese gamers are also the ones who willing to pay. On average, each person will spend 1.5 times higher than North American gamers and 2.5 times higher than gamers in West Europe.
Because of strictly regulations from the Government to the prize, eSports in Japan have decreased compared to other Asian countries. Japan eSports Alliance is the new management agency, merging three previous eSports associations. This agency helps the Japanese eSports market overcome legal challenges and help athletes achieving their best.
There are about 500,000 gamers in Singapore and this number is increasing. Games as well as eSports are used as a way to attract young people in Singapore. The National Youth Council organized ESports tournaments together with music festival. An eSports academy was also established to teach gamers strategy and techniques.
Thailand had about 18 million gamers in 2017 with the numbers from both genders are nearly equal. Revenue from games is about $ 600 million.
Indonesia is the 2nd largest market in Southeast Asia. It contributes about 2% of the country’s GDP. It is strongly supported in order to partially reflect Indonesia’s culture in the game. The rate of Internet access in this country is quite low, around 53%.
Internet kiosks are the basis for game development and eSports in the Philippines. In a developing country, these stores will allow gamers to access the game for just a few cents and do not need to invest equipment. However, the low transmission speed is still a major barrier for the development of this sport.
- Viet Nam
In Vietnam, electronic game publishing companies are big employers in the game industry, attracting many young dynamic engineers and artists in the country. The number of gamers grew from 13 million in 2013 and increased to nearly 40 million in 2017.
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