Gaming trends in Southeast Asia


Southeast Asia is the gaming capital of the world – and a couple of new surveys now make this information “official”.

This fact hasn’t been lost on some of the more creative online gaming supply companies and online casinos out there, of course, but it’s also important not to take a blanket approach – as the survey reveals subtle differences in the way the countries in Southeast Asia play.

One recent survey is that conducted by NewZoo, a company in Holland. The survey predicts that revenues from mobile gaming in Asia will grow at a compound annual rate of 27.3% from now until 2016. The same report also suggests that the Asia-Pacific region now accounts for just under half (48% to be exact) of the world’s total mobile gaming revenue. This confirms what we – and the suppliers out there – already know; that the region is the most important in the world when it comes to gaming of all types – but particularly online.


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At the same time, some of the most developed suppliers are from Western Europe and, specifically, the UK – and particularly when it comes to online gambling. The UK has what is probably the world’s most freely open and most mature and developed gambling market. And in areas where gambling and gaming meet, as with online casinos – some of the UK companies are looking to Asia for expansion. Online casino and bookmaker, 32Red, for example – a UK-listed company, has set its sights firmly on Japan to fuel its Asian growth.

This looks to be a sensible strategy as the data and predictions generated in the NewZoo survey are reinforced by another survey from research company Trend Micro. A recent Trend Micro survey documents the rapid growth of mobile gaming in Southeast Asia at a macro level – but also looks at differences between countries.

The survey was based on responses from over 2,000 game users in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

On average, half of all the respondents play games daily on some form of mobile device. The Philippines and Thailand top the list with 53%, followed by Indonesia at 48%, Malaysia with 46% and Singapore last and least with 43%.

 Overall, the most used games are in adventure, action, and arcade games. In The Philippines and Indonesia, half of all respondents download games each week – whereas in Singapore the equivalent figure is just 22%.

The Southeast Asian regions also vary in terms of the amount people are prepared to shell out for their mobile gaming apps. Players from Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines are prepared to pay for apps. But Thai people are prepared to pay more, it seems. Here, 63% of respondents were quite willing to spend over $10 per game, whereas in Indonesia 45% of respondents don’t pay at all for their mobile gaming apps – and a further 31% will only pay up to a maximum of $2. Both Singapore and the Philippines are similarly frugal – with 80% and 71% of respondents respectively willing to spend just $2 or less per game.

Overall, the market is staggeringly big – and it only looks to be getting bigger. But people are only prepared to pay so much – so it’s all down to creativity coupled with effective marketing.

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