For the past few years, China’s spending on gaming has eclipsed all other nations, although in the most recent Newzoo report, the US edged ahead to become the biggest. The sheer number of US players will always be a factor.
China is different to South Korea in the primary device gamers use.
Since the major consoles were beyond the financial reach of many in China (and banned by the government), Chinese manufactured smartphones became the platform of choice.
Accessible, portable and powerful, smartphone gaming remains the dominant gaming platform in the country.
According to a Pandaily report, more than half of the nation’s 1.3 billion smartphone users are online gamers, assisted by very good 5G coverage in the urban areas.
If you’ve ever played the more popular online games on your smartphone, you’ll likely notice when China is waking up, whatever time zone you’re in. If you like winning, that might well be your cue to log off.
Not all games are Asia dominated
It might, on the face of it, seem that Asian nations (or at least China, Japan and South Korea) are the dominant forces in esports. But this is true only up to a point.
When it comes to role-play games (RPGs) and online battle arenas, it’s certainly players from these three nations that are the ones to beat.
Yet when it comes to shooters like Counter Strike and Fortnite, Asian players are conspicuous by their absence in the top arenas. Those games tend to be dominated by Europeans and North Americans.
There are cultural reasons for this. As soccer dominates in Europe, cricket in India and American football in the US, RPGs are popular in east Asia.
Also, the Chinese gaming market is still developing, and with its enormous population, its presence will likely grow across other games.
India, Indonesia and Pakistan: about to level up?
There are three major economies in Asia that are lagging behind in the gaming world: India, Indonesia and Pakistan.
With a combined population of over 1.6 billion people whose average age is in the mid-20s, these nations should be on course for gaming greatness.
India in particular has a strong, thriving tech sector and good infrastructure in the urban areas, but it still has a relatively small player base.
Indonesia is another nation with great potential: seventh in the world by GDP and with stability and good infrastructure to build on.
Pakistan is still struggling in terms of internet connectivity and speed, but it has a tech-savvy and young population that could make it a gaming superpower if its internet can be fixed.
As yet, online gaming doesn’t seem to have excited young people in these nations to the same extent it has elsewhere.
As South Korea has demonstrated, you need the right technology and the right culture to get the esports sector moving, and in these nations, at least one is missing.
It just takes a spark, however, and the gaming industry is trying hard to become a part of these exciting economies.
Skrill can help with your gaming payments
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