Lisa Hanson was a featured guest on CNBC Asia on October 28th. The interview included lots of questions about mobile vs PC online gaming in SEA and China. For more updates, follow Niko Partners on Twitter.
It pays to be a leader in an Internet, digital games or mobile company in China. Five of the top 10 richest people on the Forbes China 2014 China Rich List are the leaders of companies in those sectors. All of them are billionaires many times over. Looking at Thailand’s list is a different story: only two are from “media” and not directly related to Internet or games. This is interesting as Thailand is one of the most important markets in Southeast Asia for digital gaming, so perhaps it means there is room for more domestic growth of the industry there and as that develops we can expect further games market revenue growth in the region.
Although Taiwan has a population of only 23 million, its Google Play revenue ranks #5 in the world. The average time spent on a smartphone per person in Taiwan is #1 in the world at 200 minutes per day, compared to the global average in 32 countries of 142 minutes per day. In Taiwan, the most popular game genre is RPG, and Puzzles & Dragons and DOTA Hero are very popular. 20.9% of the best sellers in September on Google Play are RPG games, followed by strategy (17.7%), action (8.7%), casual (8.5%), gambling (6.7%), and trading card (6.5%) games. There are similarities between Taiwanese game interests and those of other Asian countries including Japan, yet entering the Taiwan market may be easier than it is in Japan or China – Niko noticed this during a custom research project for a client about 8 years ago, and it remains true now. An article in Gamasutra also points this out.
Niko covers the SEA games market as well as China’s, and within SEA we look at six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. We are soon to publish our 5th annual report on that region (November). Within those six, the “most important” for gaming are now recognized as ITV – Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. We are focusing on these countries in the report too. Meanwhile, App Annie, our partner for mobile games rankings for this and our China mobile reports, has recently published analysis highlighting 5 country markets comprising the “next wave of app growth” as based on significant app downloads in the past year. One of these markets is Indonesia (the others are Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and India) – and we think it is the most exciting for growth in games too.