Analyst expects Southeast Asian game market to reach $1.2B by 2017 — and unlike China, it’s not all mobile

Above: An Asian Internet cafe.

Image Credit: Kai Hendry, Flickr Creative Commons

Gaming is global, and one rather large corner of the world is experiencing massive growth.

Southeast Asia’s gaming market may double by 2017, according to market-intelligence firm Niko Partners. Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner at Niko, expects the region — which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — to reach $1.2 billion in the next three years.

Currently, the gaming market in Southeast Asia creates revenue of around $661 million. The region boasts around 85 million gamers, and Niko expects that number to grow to 132 million by 2017.

What games are fueling this growth? It’s no surprise that mobile games are playing a big part in the expansion of the market, but PC games are also a key driver.

“Mobile games are booming in Southeast Asia as they are worldwide, yet client-based PC online gaming remains vibrant and will continue to experience aggressive revenue growth over the five-year forecast period,” said Hanson. “We were surprised to find out that many Southeast Asian hardcore PC gamers ignore mobile gaming all together, a major behavioral difference from the Chinese gaming population.” 

In China, virtually all gamers play some games on their mobile devices, but nearly one in four of the 15,000 Southeast Asian gamers Niko talked to in its most recent survey do not play mobile games of any kind. Instead, nearly all these gamers are into massively multiplayer online games on PC. They primarily make payments with cash at Internet cafés or via cards purchased from retail stores.

Niko released this information and more in its 2013 Southeast Asian Game Market Regional Report, which it began selling today in its research store for $5,500. In addition to the survey, the report also features interviews with Southeast Asian game companies and payment companies.


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