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Pandemic and 5G boost gaming interest in Thailand

The COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming rollout of 5G are expected to drive up the number of gamers in Thailand. However, economic difficulties still weigh on their spending per person, according to the promoters of Thailand Game Show 2020, scheduled for next month.

The Managing Director for Digital and Media Platform Online Station under one of the core businesses of Thailand’s fully-integrated digital service providers, which is a key supporter of the show, stated that the pandemic ushers in positive aspects and challenges in the game industry.

The global number of gamers has surged 36.9% since the outbreak, helping the home entertainment business, while game downloads have jumped 20%. While there is no official data on the segment in Thailand, it is likely to follow the global trend.

This is a challenging year for the country’s game industry, as gamers’ per-person spending is likely to fall in line with the economic woes. It is expected that the whole gaming market in Thailand to rise as the industry takes a smaller hit from the economic impact than other sectors.

Thailand has 27.8 million gamers or 41% of the population of 69 million. The industry’s market value is expected to reach THB27 billion in 2020, up 15% from 2019. In the worst-case scenario, the gaming industry would grow 10% following the postponement of the launches of new PC and console games.

Thai gamers spend an average of THB940 per person per year. Gamers aged 25-34 are the most willing to pay for games. In Thailand, mobile games account for 71% of the gaming industry’s revenue, followed by PC (22%) and console (7%). At the global level, mobile games represent 49%, trailed by console (28%) and PC (23%).

It was noted that mobile games are expected to increase momentum due to rising smartphone penetration, while console games will also thrive due to the upcoming launch of new game consoles. Cloud-based games are also projected to gather steam in the next few years.

The Thailand Game Show 2020 will be held as a hybrid offline and online event from 14 to 15 November 2020 at Siam Paragon’s Paragon Hall. The space will be divided into two zones: one for a stage show with a THB100 ticket for entry and another for 24 booths of game accessories vendors. The show lets gamers meet game idols, casters and cosplayers.

OpenGov Asia recently reported that Deputy Director-General of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) announced a collaboration with Thailand’s largest GSM mobile phone operator and the leading source of all tech and business news in Thailand and Southeast Asia to launch an online seminar which will feature a comprehensive overview of the gaming and e-sports industry.

The parties will come together to develop a new path for the game industry in Thailand. The partnership aims to increase the number of industry opportunities in the esports, a sector which many people still as lacking potential. Moreover, a case studies of the successful implementation of esports industry initiatives will be done and the results will determine the measures needed to apply them to the gaming industry in Thailand.

Across the world, people are turning to gaming platforms to view virtual concerts, for messaging, gambling, dating and even virtual celebrations of weddings and birthdays in an increasing number, the company found. They predict that the global consumer gaming industry will reach a value of $198 billion by 2024, not including sales from hardware and devices, augmented reality, virtual reality and advertising.

The industry is turning from selling individual games to offering subscription services, with several tech giants offering gaming subscriptions and competing with major players. Moreover, the firm found that 58% of gamers use or intend to use gaming subscription services, while 38% use or intend to use cloud gaming services. About 22% of people who bought their first virtual-reality headsets this year did so during the virus outbreak, the firm reported, with most users intending them for videogames.

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