INTERVIEWS
INTERVIEWS

October 23, 2023

Kenzie

Unlocking Southeast Asia’s Gaming Market: Insights from gamescom Asia 2023

October 23, 2023 | Kenzie

At Virtual SEA, we’ve been talking a lot about the games coming out of the region. However, the unique, rising gaming consumer market is another exciting part of this industry.

Southeast Asia’s Rising Gaming Consumer Market Takes Center Stage at gamescom Asia 2023

Southeast Asia is a much-celebrated market, mainly because of its size. But how have video game businesses approached this fascinating region? Here are two companies that shared knowledge and strategies with audiences at gamescom asia 2023.

PUBG Mobile: Nurturing Esports Superstars and Crafting Local Stories in Southeast Asia

PUBG Mobile continues to be one of the most popular games in the Southeast Asian region. Oliver Ye, the Head of Southeast Asia Publishing and Esports for the game developer, said that bringing the game to the broader esports scene was challenging.

Oliver Ye, Head of Southeast Asia Publishing and Esports, shares insights on the Southeast Asian Gaming Market at gamescom asia 2023.

Since 2019, the PUBG League has been present in many Southeast Asian countries and has supported the national teams. They encouraged anyone to become a professional esports player. Often, in Southeast Asia, they went from grassroots beginnings to superstardom. One of their best players is Indonesia’s Zuxxy, who founded his own PUBG Mobile team from humble beginnings to Esports Mobile Player of the Year in 2020.

Sports storytelling is something different for the esports ecosystem, and building this through understanding local memes and internet culture became a crucial part of their strategy towards the market.

Neopets Nostalgia Revival: Bringing a Beloved Childhood Game Back to Life in Southeast Asia

Neopets became a pillar of many childhoods, and restoring this household name has become a priority for the new CEO, Dominic Law.

After taking the IP under their wings, the new Neopets team started by rebuilding the culture that made the popular pet site reach its peak in the 2000s. They addressed the player experience, fixing broken things on the site and using an open-source Flash content emulator that brought celebrated older games back to life.

Southeast Asian Gaming Market: Neopets Booth

Neopets was in danger of becoming media lost to time, but the team has been seeing returning players and new sign-ups encouraging signs that the brand is back. While it experiences the interesting challenge of having an older nostalgic audience, there is a phenomenon of parents introducing Neopets to their children, coming together into a full circle of fun and inclusive online play.

When asked what steps were being taken to attract new and old players from Southeast Asia to Neopia, Dominic mentioned the importance of Singapore as a market for the game. While the game is still at its strongest in North America, the team’s push for a mobile-friendly version could be a factor that will bring more Southeast Asians to the pet site. If the mobile gaming-loving region can finally explore Neopet’s worlds and games as seamlessly as they can on desktop, then this could be the opportunity that invites more Southeast Asians to make a home in Neopia!

Expanding Reach: Southeast Asia Welcomes New Gaming Brands

The presence of these companies at gamescom asia helps make these brands even more accessible to the Southeast Asian region. The region requires a different approach, but it is good to see gaming brands understand the importance of this market and put thought into their marketing, operations, and activities in Southeast Asian countries.


Kenzie

Kenzie received a second childhood by crunching five generations of video game history in her free time – out of pure boredom and fascination. Since then, she’s been obsessively playing and writing about games and interactive fiction. She hopped aboard VirtualSEA to discover more about the regional game industry and help promote its talent and titles. She has a rolling list of favorite games, but Knights of the Old Republic and Horizon Zero Dawn come out on top.

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