As an entertainment industry, video games have gone from what was once a rather niche market with a limited audience to what is now one of the most lucrative industries there is. Video games have become successful on a global scale, and they continue to grow in popularity not only in already established markets, but also in regions where video games don’t have quite the titanic revenue numbers that some of the powerhouse of the industry have.
As far are as economic success goes, the standout areas in the video game industry are places such as China, North America, South Korea, Japan, and much of Western Europe. These are the areas where the most profit comes flowing through, and judging by the general trend of growth for popularity in video games, it doesn’t seem as though any of them are going to be tapering off any time soon.
But while these areas may be the ones that currently have the highest revenue from video games, there are other regions that aren’t content to take a backseat in this regard. While growth of popularity has by no means stagnated in these areas, they are not the ones that have experienced the highest surge of growth in the most recent years. Instead of one of the titans of the industry having reported the highest growth, the region that has claimed this title is actually Southeast Asia.
While Southeast Asia is no slouch of a region itself, the fact that it is not quite as lucrative as those at the top of the table means that it has more room for development among its market; there are larger amounts of consumers who are not currently invested in the industry that can be reached out to in the region, which would result in a larger influx or revenue.
The exact rate of growth in revenue for Southeast Asia is really quite impressive, with its numbers managing to top even that of China, which boasted very strong growth itself. In a study conducted by Newzoo, the details of the promising growth in popularity of video games in the Southeast Asian region was dissected and analyzed. Among the various nations in Southeast Asia, there is a collection of countries that are referred to as “The Big 6”: the six countries in the region that represent the vast majority of video game related revenue—97% of the entire region, to be specific. The six nations are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines, and these six might as well be the entire Southeast Asian market, considering how much of the revenue of the regions comes from them.
A possible reason for why Southeast Asia is the region that has had the most dynamic growth could be the place that gaming has in the local culture. In Southeast Asia, internet cafes are a very prominent fixture in the densely packed metropolitan landscape, and as a result, computer-based gaming has a degree of popularity and longevity in the region that it’s difficult to see its lucrative success ever dwindle away.
Another contributor to the region’s growth could potentially be because English—the language of trade—is a language that many in the area are able to employ, meaning that the region is more attractive for localization efforts as a significant portion of the population is bilingual.
Ultimately, while Southeast Asia may be the region that has experienced the most growth, there are other regions still that are developing the popularity of video games—although not to the degree of explosiveness that Southeast Asia has. Latin America, Eastern Europe—interest in video games are growing across the world.