Insightful, yet not surprising
The latest report from gaming statistician gurus Newzoo have revealed that in 2019, Malaysia’s 20.1 million gamers spent an impressive $673 million (RM2.7 million). This makes the country – in terms of absolute revenues – one of the most lucrative markets in the SEA region.
The research also revealed that, unsurprisingly, mobile gaming as the most popular platform for gaming with the following breakdown:
- 75% play games on mobile;
- 66% play games on PC; and
- 55% play on console.
However, we believe this data should be taken with a pinch of salt. While it does give a broad impression on the acceptance of video games in Malaysia, we should not take this pure representation of the country’s gaming climate. We will get back to that part later in this piece.
Still, an encouraging takeaway is the relatively high percentage of females who partake in video games, with as high as 70% of its female urban respondents have played video games on mobile. Interesting enough, you are more likely to bump into a female PC gamer than you are to encounter a female console gamer.
These numbers do add up considering that PC seems to be the more popular platform in Malaysia compared to home consoles.
Malaysians also tend to spend on in-game items, with a whopping 87% of the respondents admitting to having spent real money on items, with in-game power-ups being the most frequently purchased item.
The popularity of mobile games such as Candy Crush Saga (played by 50% of respondents) and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (36%) contributed to this ridiculously high number of mobile game players. The zero-entry fee to access these games makes them attractive to mid to low-income earners as well as young adults.
While the latter group does not possess the spending power for big purchases such as the PS4 or Nintendo Switch, they have no qualms in spending for these relatively cheaper digital items which compound and add up over time.
Lastly, while esports has been the buzzword in the Malaysian gaming scene for a while now, online video content creators and broadcasters would be discouraged to find out that only (61%) of Malaysia’s urban online population watch gaming video content. To make it even more perplexing, the report stated that “7% watch game content regularly but play games less than once per month”. If you didn’t get that last sentence, neither do we.
Anyways, that’s all we’ve got from NewZoo’s recent summary of the Malaysian gamers’ spending habit in 2019. We’ll share more similar-ish info when we have them.