Since the introduction of the first smartphones, mobile gaming has grown to become one of the most popular platforms. It has the same allure as any other game platform. It also has the added benefits of portability and ease. With the rise of esports, video game developers are taking into account a range of elements when designing games for huge audiences, such as including a strong competitive element that provides a diversity of meta, and freedom for players to explore. Southeast Asia, which consists of 11 countries, has been considered as one of the biggest regions for mobile esports titles. This leads to a more competitive market in the esports scene in the Southeast Asia region, due to which the mobile esports market is expected to reach a staggering $72.5 million in revenue by 2024.
The mobile-first esports market of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia’s growing internet population and strong smartphone penetration contribute considerably to the rise of mobile esports, which is influenced by the region’s younger demographic. Infrastructure and internet connectivity will play a role in enabling the region’s expanding gaming environment.
Because the majority of SEA is made up of developing countries, having a gaming computer or console is regarded as a luxury that many people cannot afford. However, quality phones are far cheaper, and most people use them for other reasons as well. Hence, most people prefer the convenience of the mobile platform over the comparably more expensive PC and console systems.
Esports in Southeast Asia
Because of the region’s unique mobile-first culture, the two most popular esports events are PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. You can check our detailed article on why Mobile Legends is highly popular in SEA. Many esports teams, according to Newzoo, make the majority of their money through sponsorships and advertising, which gives corporations another way to advertise their brands. Sponsorships will account for more than half of SEA’s projected revenue.
Southeast Asia is growing increasingly dynamic, with the area experiencing the fastest revenue growth in the global esports market. According to Newzoo, esports income in Southeast Asia will rise at a robust CAGR (2019-2024) of +20.8 percent, the market reaching US$72.5 million in 2024. This signifies a substantial increase in the success of esports in the Southeast Asia region and hopefully a more competitive esports scene in the near future.
Reasons for the popularity of mobile esports in SEA
Games and esports have the potential to gather further success on key population centers such as Indonesia and the Philippines as network and mobile infrastructure evolves and internet penetration rates rise. The deployment of 5G networks, which has already begun in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, will further unlock the mobile games’ penetration potential.
As seen in the infographic above, about 82 percent of the total online population in the Southeast Asian region are playing mobile games on their devices. Around 39 percent of them are mobile-first gamers who spend most of their pastime playing mobile games. This signifies how infused the mobile gaming culture is in the lives of the online population of Southeast Asia. Most people have at least played one game on their respective mobile devices at one time or the other.
Mobile games also have an advantage over their PC counterparts in terms of convenience. People can play one game while stuck in a traffic jam and then be on their way. This may be another reason why mobile gaming is a more popular choice in the Southeast Asian market, rather than the traditional PC and console counterparts.
Mobile games have struggled to compete with their more traditional equivalents, such as PC and console games. But with the increasing support of regions, it is slowly coming progressively closer to dethroning the more traditional platforms.
What do you think about the Southeast Asia esports market reaching $72.5 million in revenue by 2024? Do let us know in the comments below!