The games industry, and gaming as a whole, in Southeast Asia is expanding at an unprecedented rate, faster than any other developing region on Earth. That’s according to two new reports on PC and mobile games in the region from games industry analysts Niko Partners, with the latest statistics and forecasts for the next five years.
PC and mobile game revenue for Southeast Asia will exceed US$5 billion in 2019 and is projected to pass a whopping US$8.3 billion in 2023 with over 320 million gamers. This includes SEA countries such as:
- Chinese Taipei
These numbers can be attributed to the high amount of mobile gamers in the region, with more than half a billion smartphone users projected to increase to 628 million by 2023. Around 40 percent of those people play mobile games, and the planned 5G support for most of the SEA countries will likely boost these numbers even further.
For both PC and mobile games, esports is the most important driver of growth in the games industry in the region, with an overwhelming majority of gamers actively playing or competing in esports games. That accounts for 95 and 90 percent of all PC and mobile gamers, respectively.
Contributing factors include the strong role of internet cafes in providing the required facilities for gaming and esports, with internet user penetration in the region slated to reach 99 percent in 2023, up from the 73 percent in 2019.
Video game developers and publishers are starting to flock to the SEA region as well, with Divinity franchise developer Larian Studios and Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios both recently announcing that there were setting up studios in Malaysia.
All of this, along with gradual improvements in internet infrastructure, as well as increased disposable income and demand for esports games, have essentially ensured that Southeast Asia will experience continued growth in the next 5 years.