We’re continuing our series called #KnowYourMarket, where we will be exploring the various countries and their mobile gaming community, their significant growth, and unique cultural distinctions so game developers get at least a basic understanding of the mobile gaming market in a diverse space like Asia. In knowing this, game developers and publishers will be more equipped and attuned to making calculated decisions when interacting with the various demographics that will discover their games.
For the past few blogs in this series, we covered the mobile gaming market in Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia. Today, we visit the Kingdom of Thailand, also known as “The Land of Smiles”!
Bordered by Myanmar to the west and northwest, Laos to the northeast, Cambodia to the southeast, and Malaysia to the south, Thailand is a Southeast Asian country popular as a tourist destination, and famous for its stunning beaches, ornate temples, and delicious cuisine and attracting millions of visitors each year. Thailand has a population of over 69 million people and most of them speak the official language, Thai. The capital city of Bangkok is a vibrant metropolis that offers a unique blend of traditional Thai culture and modern urban life and is home to over 10 million people.
The gaming industry in Thailand has seen significant growth in recent years, with mobile gaming becoming highly popular. It began to emerge in the early 2000s, which was when the first truly popular games came into public view. In the present day, mobile gaming is the most popular section of gaming among Thai gamers. The industry is currently dominated by mobile games, forming 61% of the gaming market share.
Among the urban population in the country, around 95% of people who consider themselves to be gamers prefer playing on mobile, with console gaming lagging behind by 11%. The future of gaming is definitely bright in the Land of Smiles.
The Thai Gamer
In Thailand, men and women are neck and neck in terms of the number of gamers. Studies have shown that a whopping 97% of female internet users play games on mobile, while the figure for males is close behind at an equally impressive 94%. The vast majority of gamers, regardless of gender or age, are inclined towards making in-game purchases to enhance their gameplay experience. Males are typically more likely to spend money on playable characters or related appendages, while females are more likely to spend on in-game currency.
It was also shown that female gamers are more likely to choose mobile gaming as a primary preference in gaming, while men tend to choose console gaming instead, although they do enjoy mobile games simultaneously.
Preferences among the Thai Gaming Population
Thai gamers have chosen shooter and Match-3 as their favorite genres among men and women respectively. Candy Crush is played by 45% of the gaming population in Thailand, while the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series and Call of Duty were played by 35% each. Further, FIFA is another favorite among Thai gamers, with 44% naming it as their go-to game.
The rising popularity of eSports in the country has led to the recognition of eSports as a professional sport by the Thai government. This has led to an increase in funding and support from the government and the Sports Authority of Thailand to eligible blossoming eSports teams and athletes. In spite of facing criticism from those having traditionally critical views of gaming, the Thai government has taken active steps to support talented players in making this a monetizable profession.
Game Development in Thailand
In fact, there are more than 475 Thai publishers on Google Play out of all 192,492 game publishers. One of the biggest Thai publishers are Jima Apps, Neworld Games, Real Freestyle Soccer, First Touch Games Ltd., Habby, Kiragames Co. Ltd., StarUnion, BigPanda Studios, Joymaster Studio, PIXIO. Less than 1% of all game publishers on Google Play are from Thailand. There are more than 1,703 games from Thai publishers on Google Play out of the 534,526 games. Mobile Games with the most downloads from Thai publishers are Soccer Super Star, The Ants: Underground Kingdom, Royal Casino, and Chayen – a word guess party.
To further recognize and support the growth of the industry in Thailand, video game conventions have been set up with an array of gaming-related activities and merchandise available for enthusiasts to buy and enjoy. The most prominent of these is the Thailand Game Show, which features gaming tournaments, cosplay contests, game demos, and many other entertaining activities.
And that concludes part six of our #KnowYourMarket series! Tune in to the next entry as we cover the country of Vietnam!
Are you a Thai mobile game developer? Tell us about your experience developing your game in your market! Use #KnowYourMarketSlab in social media or tag slab in your post! We’d love to know your story working in one of the largest gaming markets in Southeast Asia.