Southeast Asia has been on the radar of many mobile gaming developers lately, as it seems to be a rapidly growing market that has tons of opportunity to tap into.

Back in May, our COO, Mohammad Agha, jetted off to Singapore to attend the prestigious gaming conference, Casual Connect, which was held on Sentosa, a man-made island that Mo described as “Similar to Disney World, but grown up”.

Casual Connect Southeast Asia

Mo arriving at Casual Connect

Before he left, I had the chance to sit down with Mo and ask him what it was he was hoping to take away from the trip. His main goal was to submerge himself into the Asian culture and learn about the mobile opportunities in Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Population

Let’s start with some quick numbers. According to World Ometers, the population of Southeast Asia is sitting at 647,589,953, with the average age being 29 years old. The majority of people playing mobile games averages between 21-35 years old* so SE Asia’s right in the sweet spot for some major potential to tap into.

Understanding the Market

The games that tend to have the most success in that part of the world are based on anime, comic books or reality TV shows. E-sports are also growing rapidly in popularity. SEA have their very own e-sport celebrities, and the Philippines in particular, have over 1.4 million e-sports enthusiasts and 1.8 million occasional viewers.**

Western mobile games that have massive success in North America end up also being extremely successful in SEA.

IAPs (In-App Purchases) are also higher in the Asian market so the opportunities are there, it’s just finding a way to tap into them through games developed specifically for the demographic.

Credit Card Penetration

Credit Card Penetration

There are huge opportunities in the Philippines for mobile gaming. It has been predicted that the market will double in size every year until 2020. The challenge here, however, is payment. Right now, the credit card penetration only sits between 5-10%, with the majority of the population using a carrier billing site that’s an alternative to paying directly on iTunes or GooglePlay.

Companies like Xurpas even offer payment plans for gamers to make small monthly payments, just like one would pay for a car or other larger ticket item. These payments can be as small as a few dollars each month, but make it attainable for gamers to be able to afford to buy apps and make in-app purchases.

Android > iPhone

Android iPhone

It’s true, the majority of people living in Southeast Asia prefer Android over iPhone. This is probably because there are so many different, cheaper options coming from China to choose from. This is something to consider when building an app; the main priority should be that it plays well on Android devices.

So, how do you go about getting your game into the SEA market?

Some important things to consider when tapping into their demographic:

  • Localizing text and assets to the region.
  • Making sure you have local language customer support. Although the majority of SEA are English speakers, it’s always a good idea to offer customer support in the region’s language.
  • Localizing channels for advertising. People take social media very seriously in South East Asia and some even hire professional photographers to take their pictures. This is definitely something to consider, too, while creating ads.

 

Summary

Game developers need to make the move to get their mobile games into the markets in Southeast Asia. Easier said than done, yes, but the internet is full of resources and if enough time and effort to research is dedicated and a good partnership is made then you will be off to a good start.

The opportunities are huge in that part of the world; why not do everything possible to tap into the ever-growing market?

 

*www.statista.com

**www.applovin.com