The gaming scene in the Southeast Asia region is often synonymous with having the largest mobile gaming scene. The projected revenue in the Mobile Games market in Southeast Asia for this year is expected to reach $4.36bn.
However, the region nowadays is slowly showing signs of being part of big AAA title purchases, with many companies localising their games to include languages that are common in the Southeast Asia region, like TEKKEN 8 having a Thai localisation, and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 having Indonesian localisation.
With the surge of popularity of AAA titles specifically in Southeast Asia, it’s no big surprise that Game companies are beginning to expand to the region, more notably Japanese companies, with Singapore as their first stop.
Broadening The Horizons
Recently, we’ve seen a huge success of gamescom asia 2023, a regional spin-off of one of the world’s largest gaming trade shows, which housed more than 34,000 visitors, 135 exhibitors over at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition centre.
There’s a few factors behind the success of gamescom asia 2023. On top being the first year that the event had open its doors to the public; another huge influence stemmed from big Japanese companies such as Capcom and SEGA (in the form of Epicsoft) making their appearance at the event, allowing visitors to try out highly anticipated games such as Dragon’s Dogma 2 by Capcom.
Additionally at gamescom asia 2023, Capcom had also hosted the Street Fighter 6 tournament with the Capcom Pro Tour 2023 – Singapore Offline Premiere which invited hundreds of players to the event to compete for a spot in the upcoming Capcom Cup X, which has a 1 million USD grand prize.
Needless to say, these factors play a huge part in the overall success of the gamescom asia 2023, considering how it’s such a new and exciting thing to happen, especially its within arms reach of Southeast Asian gamers, who before this would need to travel far distances to experience things like these.
The fact that regular fans don’t have to specifically fly to Japan to interact with high profile names like Monster Hunter producer Ryozo Tsujimoto was a pipedream 20 years ago.
Speaking of Southeast Asian events, we’ve also seen various big name Japanese companies such as Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia and SEGA participating in conventions such as the previous Thailand Game Show 2023 event, with the latter making their appearance in this year’s Comic Fiesta (Malaysia), Indonesia Comic Con, and Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (Philippines).
Japanese companies setting up a Southeast Asia branch was previously very rare, as they normally only have development studios instead of publishers or regional offices. One rare case being Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia setting up shop in Singapore, with its office founded back in 2005.
Going on that note, it’s worth noting that there’s been a rise with Japanese companies spreading their wings in Singapore too, with Capcom Singapore and SEGA Singapore opening up more job opportunities for Southeast Asians, as well as expanding to the local markets.
It’s definitely no surprise to see why Japanese companies are branching out especially in the SEA region considering its a growing market.
This brings in more incentive for more AAA companies to branch out in the Southeast Asian region. Much like with the Nintendo Pop-up store that’s scheduled to open later this month in Singapore, selling official Nintendo merchandise that was previously available only in the Japan branches.
The gaming scene in Southeast Asia is a growing market, it is expected for the SEA gaming market to grow from USD 14.77 billion in 2023 to USD 14.90 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 0.19% during the forecast period. Supporting the claim, reports also said that the number of new internet users would see a 3.1% growth by 2022 in SEA specifically, making it the second fastest growing region in the world; which is a healthy sign to see it grow even further in the coming years.
With more and more Japanese companies branching out to Southeast Asia, it also allows for title exclusive events to happen, much like the recent Final Fantasy XVI launch event with Sony Interactive Entertainment, where the game’s producer Naoki Yoshida made his appearance in Malaysia.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has a huge presence in the SEA region, and that itself is a benefit for developers who wish to showcase their games during offline events by providing them support.
Convergent Distribution working together with Nintendo to sell their platform in big chain retailers like Best Denki, Popular as well as Courts Malaysia would also translate in having more new users purchasing Nintendo Switch devices, which in turn would mean more potential revenue for game publishers.
More publishers establishing branches in SEA is a win for both consumers and publishers. Gaming in SEA will be pretty exciting for the coming years, and definitely a space to watch out for.
PS: Square Enix, when are you going to set up an office here?