A large majority of close than two-thirds of the gaming population in Greater Southeast Asia are hugely interested in esports.

According to a new study by Niko Partners, 60% of gamers here are strongly drawn to esports, while 42% of players from the region prefer competitive arena titles and spend the most on games.

The study breaks down the segmentation of gamers in the area. According to the report, the areas are defined as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Niko found seven distinct categories of gamers. The categories are;

  • Competitive arena gamer
  • Fantasy arena gamer
  • Arena gamer
  • Strategist
  • Skill master
  • Casual challenger
  • Story socialiser

The first three of the categories, the arena gamers, are all strongly drawn to esports and represents 60% of the overall market; the one we mentioned earlier in the story.

We’ll break it down further for you:

  • Competitive arena gamers alone represent 42% of the Greater Southeast Asian market. Aged between 12 and 23, this demographic is driven by the key motivators of competition and completion.
  • It’s also revealed that this group is the biggest spender amongst them all, spending an average of $15.80 (RM64.74) per month on PC games and $10.10 (RM41) per month on mobile.
  • Female players contribute the highest numbers towards the fantasy arena gamer segment and have the lowest numbers in the arena gamer segment. The female gamers are motivated by a mix of competition and community.
  • Casual challengers were the second biggest segment overall, and are most likely to be aged 36 or older. This was the only group that shared the same motivators as competitive arena gamers.
  • Skill masters are discovered to be 24 years or older while story socialisers are the players most likely to play on multiple platforms, and strategists are most likely to play on PC.

Niko Partners managing director, Lisa Cosmas Hanson said that “Gamers in Greater Southeast Asia are primarily motivated by competition, completion, community and challenge, according to our findings in this report.”

“A surprising outcome of this study is how different the GSEA gamers are from western gamers. However, they have much in common with Chinese gamers, per a similar segmentation analysis we did in China,”  she added.

This is an interesting study and proves that esports has a huge potential in this region. It’s small wonder why Razer has capitalised this opportunity and is opening up its HQ in Bangsar. I hope more major stakeholders in Malaysia, such as the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), can put their say in it.

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