The gaming community has been around for a long time in Southeast Asia, but as for the latest prestigious sports competitions are starting to look at e-Sports, the hype grew even higher. And as Southeast Asia adapts to an exciting digitalised lifestyle, one of the biggest beneficiaries of it is the gaming industry.
According to the latest data from Newzoo, a market intelligence firm covering global games and eSports, global revenue from eSports in 2017 was estimated to be US$696 million. And, by the year 2020, the estimated global revenue is expected to grow to US$1.5 billion. Newzoo also highlighted that the Asia-Pacific region accounts for 51% of global eSport enthusiasts in 2017.
Southeast Asia’s Hype for eSport
In 2016, the Southeast Asian nations decided to host its very own eSport tournament, in collaboration with eSport Malaysia, called ASEAN Games for eSport (AGES). The first ever Southeast Asian eSport tournament was set with a prize pool of around US$256,000.
Most recently, the 2018 Asian Games, held in Jakarta and Palembang simultaneously, had – for the first time – six demonstration games as part of its eSports event. The games were Arena Of Valor, Hearthstone, Pro Evolution Soccer, League Of Legends, Clash Royale and StarCraft 2. The growth of the eSports industry has already seen an increase in gaming companies in the region – spurring job creation in Southeast Asia.
The eSports market is booming in the region is due to growing regional incomes. According to a Newzoo report from 2015, the “Big Six” countries in Southeast Asia for eSports are Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The report stated that these countries account for 99% of the region’s eSports revenue.
The mobile gaming industry is also on the rise in the region, growing in popularity as they are much easier to localise compared to computer games. While eSports within mobile gaming isn’t quite as lucrative or as popular as video games, the mobile gaming industry is projected to grow exponentially.
With gaming gaining popularity throughout the region, it is no surprise that companies are scrambling for the Southeast Asian market. Alibaba’s gaming arm, Ali Games began rolling out their games in 2017 for the region, while Tencent is the majority stakeholder in Singapore’s Sea.
The gaming industry has really flourished in the past decade and will continue to do so – there’s no reason why Southeast Asia shouldn’t become an eSports and gaming hub.