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Growth is driven by esports and international hit games


SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nov 7, 2017 – Niko Partners, the leading market research firm covering the digital games markets in Asia, today announced the release of two new reports: 2017 Southeast Asia Mobile Games Report and SEA PC Online Games Report, both with forecasts through 2021.


Key takeaways from the studies include:


  • 2017 combined PC online and mobile games revenue is projected to reach $2.2 billion, rising to $4.4 billion by 2021. This forecast has been revised upward from last year, based on the strength of esports and new hit international games entering the Southeast Asian market.
  • The number of PC online and mobile gamers in Southeast Asia is projected to reach 300 million by the end of 2017, rising to more than 400 million by 2021.
  • Southeast Asia is the world’s fastest growing region for all online games revenue (PC and mobile) led by strong investment in and demand for esports on PC and mobile platforms.
  • Mobile games revenue is expected to surpass PC games revenue in 2018. However, mobile games revenue is additive, not cannibalizing, PC games usage.  
  • Mobile games distribution is different in Southeast Asia than in the West, with direct downloads and local 3rd party Android markets playing an important role. Global developers cannot rely solely on data analytics to understand the real story in the local markets, but rather must research the reality for their games.
  • Garena (now called Sea Limited, NYSE: SE) is the definitive market leader in SEA for PC and mobile games operations and distribution. The company went public on NYSE October 20, 2017, raising $884 million in the IPO and showing a strong vote of confidence from global investors for the Greater Southeast Asian region.  

“Esports has had a huge impact on the Southeast Asia region, and is the primary driver for the explosive growth in PC online games. The heavy growth of the MOBA genre is a major contributor to mobile esports as well,” said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners. “The recent Sea (Garena) IPO is also evidence that the region is white hot.”

Niko’s methodology included a survey of 1,400 gamers, interviews with numerous executives at major SEA companies, and trends analysis on key topics such as esports, leading games and game company market share estimates, lists of leading games, drivers and inhibitors for growth, regulations, user acquisition, games distribution, payments, and more. The two reports (PC online and mobile) each provide a comprehensive market model and 5-year forecast of games and gamers, and qualitative and quantitative analysis on gamer demand, behavior and usage for mobile and PC online games. For more information visit



Niko Partners is the the leading market research firm covering the Asia games market. Founded in 2002, the firm conducts syndicated and custom research studies on China and Southeast Asia including online games, mobile games, consoles, Smart TV gaming, regulatory issues, piracy, development, online operators, distribution, and retail. Niko Partners also offers consulting services including focus groups, partnership selection, IPO and market opportunity analysis, custom surveys in cities throughout China and the AsiaPacific region and customized data analysis. The goal of the research and strategic advisory services is to help understand the market, strategically enter or expand market share, and continue to profitably grow within China and Southeast Asia’s impressive markets. The company is based in Silicon Valley and Shanghai, and its clients include worldwide leaders in game software, hardware, and services, as well as hedge funds, media companies, trade associations, and management consulting firms, all of whom have a vested interest in a thorough understanding of the games industry in Southeast Asia and China.

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Contact: Lisa Cosmas Hanson, Managing Partner, Niko Partners
wechat lisacosmashanson
twitter @nikochina