According to Frost & Sullivan’ recent analysis, mobile gaming revenue will exceed $7 billion in Southeast Asia by 2019.
The mobile game industry in Southeast Asia crossed US$1 billion in 2014, growing at a CAGR of 48% from 2015 to 2019. Indonesia and Thailand are quickly expanding and the least developed markets such as Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar are still in the growth phase.
Android is the dominant mobile OS in the region which creates a problem for game developers in terms of understanding which version of Android certain games should support.
Only 6% of global Indonesian Google Play users are using Android 2.3 but the number of users in Indonesia is over 25% and also high in Vietnam, Thailand and other markets.
Chat apps such as LINE is popular in the Thai market and most of the popular games are downloaded from their platform. Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines are still mostly using Whatsapp although Facebook Messenger has also become popular recently.
The top game in almost every market in the region is Clash of Clans from Supercell, which shows the global trend. In Thailand LINE’s ‘Let’s Get Rich’ is the top grossing game, which is due the huge popularity of the LINE service in that country.
Credit card penetration is extremely low, as all countries in the region excluding Singapore and Malaysia have credit card penetration of less than 10% which makes purchasing virtual goods extremely difficult for most gamers in the region.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the increase in income is leading to higher purchasing of smart devices which are then being used to play games. Payment for gaming is still an issue, but overall the outlook for the region is very positive.