There will be around 476 million online gamers who will generate $8.3 billion in revenue for game developers in South-East Asia by 2023, according to Niko Partners’ projections. The growth in gaming in the region is supported by the overall economy growing, as well as the rapidly increasing number of internet users.
In fact, South-East Asia is the fastest growing game market in the world, according to the market research company Newzoo:
The opportunity for game developers is obvious, but just how difficult is it to start growing your user base in the region? The answer depends on your expansion strategy, and here are a few guiding points on the region based on our work with developers including Tencent, Epic Games and Electronic Arts.
Localize your game
Some countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Philippine may speak English on daily basis, but countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam have low English proficiency scores. By localizing your game for the local language, you will give your game advantages to beat the competitors and reach further into the market.
Engage with the local gamer community
You can find a lot of gamer communities across each major city in the region and you will be surprised how this community engages with each other while playing your game. WeChat and Facebook communities, offline community events and meet-ups are the key places to increase your visibility and engagement from the local gamer community.
Look beyond your existing payment methods
One of the main challenges developers have in South-East Asia is not user acquisition, but rather converting those gamers into paying customers. This isn’t a surprise, as credit card penetration in the region is very low within and credit card payments may not be a good option in the region.
However, adding local payment solutions within the region to provide other types of payments such as bank transfer, mini-market in-store payment can convert a seemingly low-ARPU region into a lucrative one. These types of local payments are not a silver bullet, but do help solve monetization challenges when reaching further into the rural areas of the region.
Increase your payment reach further with direct carrier billing
Even when local alternative payment methods such as bank transfers and mini-market in-store payment solutions are used, you may still find it difficult to reach paying users, especially in rural areas. One alternative to bank-based payments is direct carrier billing, which enables people to pay for game content on their phone bill, rather than through their bank account.
If you want to learn more about direct carrier billing and how it helps game developers convert users into paying customers, download our e-book on the topic by entering your contact details below.