#KnowYourMarket: Mobile Gaming in The Philippines

KnowYourMarket: Mobile Gaming in The Philippines

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 about the mobile gaming market in a diverse space like Asia. In knowing, 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.

Last time we covered the mobile gaming market in Indonesia and India. Today, we explore The Philippines!

The COVID 19 pandemic changed the way people approach entertainment and fun for people all over the world. Games have always been an integral part of recreation for children as well as adults, but lockdown led many individuals to turn to gaming in the absence of most of their usual sources of enjoyment. Mobile gaming in particular has seen a huge spike, with people opting for ways to spend their time without leaving their homes while retaining the convenience of the smartphone. In the Philippines, mobile gaming seems to show strong promise for growth as an industry, as well as opportunities for up and comers looking to get into the game development field.

The Philippines (known officially as the Republic of the Philippines) is an archipelagic nation situated in Southeast Asia consisting of more than seven-thousand islands that are geographically divided into three broad regions. These regions, named correspondingly from North to South, are called Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Although it shares no borders on land, the Philippines does share maritime borders with the countries of Taiwan, Japan, Palau, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Vietnam. The official languages are Filipino and English, but there are 19 regional languages spoken by the Filipino public that are recognized by the government.

In addition, social networking is so widely used in the country that it has been named the social networking capital of the world.

Mobile Gaming in the Philippines 

Mobile gaming in the Philippines has witnessed a sharp turn of interest in its favor, especially among young individuals between the ages of 15 and 25. Some of the highest grossing games favored by gamers in the country fall under the strategy, action and RPG genres. Studies have also indicated one unique aspect of game players in the country: players like watching game related content almost as much as they like playing games themselves, and it is shown that 10% of the participants even preferred simply watching regularly rather than playing every day.

As of 2020, revenue from the mobile gaming industry was predicted to rise up to 175 million USD after an annual growth rate of 8.2%. In spite of the relatively low ratio of smartphone users among the general population, the Philippines has also shown promise in terms of in-game revenue; the average revenue per user (ARPU) of Filipino gamers is roughly 14.97 USD. Research revealed that roughly 35% of the mobile gaming population was willing and able to spend money, with 42% of women and 35% of men spending real money on power ups.

It’s something worth noting that their gaming communities thrive online, as many players share about their experiences with their games online. Interactions and engagement are prevalent given that despite the many languages they speak, Filipinos are very fluent in English, ranking second highest in English proficiency in East and Southeast Asia. This comes to no surprise that Filipinos are very vocal about their love for gaming, and have strong connections in the global gaming market. In Twitter’s latest gaming report, the Philippines tweets enough about gaming that the country ranks 7th for the first half of 2021.

Game Preferences in the Philippines 

In the Philippines, as with the other countries in Southeast Asia, major game development companies are losing favor among players who now prefer independent indie game developers and the uniqueness that comes with the games they create. Strategy is the most popular genre of gaming in the country on every gaming device except the console, where the top spot was bagged by Battle Royale. Also the general love for puzzle games among Filipinos led to the popularity of Candy Crush and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang among players of all ages. The popular gacha sensation known as Genshin Impact also tops the Philippine Twitter charts, and is the third highest ranked game in the most popular played games in the country.

And that concludes our third part of our #KnowYourMarket series! Tune in to the next entry as we cover the country of Singapore!

Are you a Filipino 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.

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Mars Zarate

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