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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

5G drives up gaming interest in Thailand

The emergence of 5G internet in Thailand, along with the ongoing pandemic, has meant that gaming is growing like never before in Thailand, according to the promoters of the Thailand Game Show 2020, scheduled to be held next month.

The pandemic has led to a large number of people having to stay indoors, which has increased engagement and usage of a number of online services, including gaming. Other services, such as online streaming and online casinos, have also seen significant increases in users. Casinos, in particular, have benefited, given that land-based casinos have had to close down. Thus, those operators who have gone online, such as Winz.io online casino, have seen a lot of traffic, as well as improved revenue, with more and more people going online for their entertainment. It has been a similar scenario with gaming, not just in Thailand but globally.

According to reports, the number of gamers globally has risen by nearly 37% since the start of the pandemic, while game downloads have increased by 20%, showing how this has been an entertainment option which has been grabbed by many people. Data for Thailand specifically is not available, but it is expected to be in line with global trends. However, it is still going to be a challenging year for the gaming industry, despite increased user numbers, since spending is likely to fall due to the economic woes faced by people. Nevertheless, this impact is expected to be smaller in Thailand than for other sectors.

Thailand has 27.8 million gamers, which makes it 41% of the total population of 69 million. This is quite a large percentage, and is reflected in the expected market value of the industry, which is expected to reach 27 billion baht by the end of this year, an increase of 15% from last year. Even in the worst-case scenario, the expectation is that the sector will grow by 10%, despite delays in launches of new PCs and the next-gen consoles that are in the pipeline. On average, gamers spend around 940 baht on games every year, with the age group of 25-34 years being the most likely to spend on games. Mobile games account for more than 70% of the industry’s revenue in Thailand, followed by PC (22%) and consoles (7%). This is quite different to the global averages, where it is 49% for mobile, followed by 28% for consoles and 23% for PC.

Increased smartphone penetration and the advent of 5G are likely to drive mobile gaming even more in Thailand, while the launch of new consoles such as Sony’s PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X will boost console gaming as well. At the same time, cloud-based gaming is also set to gather momentum, due to investment in the area by mobile operators True and Advanced Info Service. Thus, it can be seen that mobile gaming is the core of the gaming industry in Thailand, and it is set to dominate the space for the years to come as well. This is somewhat understandable given the demographics of the country, where smartphones are much easier and cheaper to buy than gaming consoles, or even high-end PCs.

The Thailand Game Show is scheduled to be an online and offline show on November 14th and 15th. It will consist of two zones, one with a stage which will have a 100 baht ticket price for entry, while the other will have 24 booths with various game developers and game accessory vendors. The event is expected to draw gamers, cosplayers, game studios and many more interested parties, while tickets can be booked online through the QueQ mobile app.

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