Explosive growth in the mobile gaming industry in Asia is anticipated by everyone in the games industry, since mobile and social networking have already become entwined in daily life there. Dutch-based research firm NewZoo released a report which states that revenue from mobile games in Asia will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 27.3 percent until 2016. They also reported that the Asia-Pacific region has 48 percent of the global revenue from mobile gaming, making it by far the world’s biggest market.
Trend Micro has now released the results of a survey documenting the explosive growth of the mobile games industry in Southeast Asia. This survey included responses from 2000 users in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore. On average, one out of every two respondents in this area play games every day on a mobile device. Broken down by country, the rate is: Thailand and the Philippines, 53 percent; Indonesia, 48 percent; Malaysia, 46 percent and Singapore, 43 percent. Across the region, the most popular games are Adventure, Action, and Arcade games. And approximately 50 percent of respondents in Indonesia and the Philippines download games every week, but this is in contrast to a low of 22 percent in Singapore.
The regions vary considerably in how much users are willing to pay for mobile game apps. All players in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines are willing to pay for these apps, but the ones willing to spend the most are in Thailand, where 63 percent are willing to spend more than $10 USD for a game. This is a huge contrast to Indonesia, where 45 percent of users do not pay anything for their apps and another 31 percent will pay only $2 USD or less. Singapore and the Philippines are also very frugal in their game spending habits, with 80 percent and 71 percent of users spending $2 USD or less on a game.
It will probably always be difficult to find players who admit they enjoy in-app advertising, but the countries surveyed do vary in the number of users who say they hate them, from a high of 65 percent in Singapore to a low of 27 percent in Thailand. Players in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines say they hate in-app ads at rates of 50 percent, 45 percent, and 32 percent.
Rather shockingly, Trend Micro’s survey revealed that less than half of parents are aware of their children’s gaming habits. This breaks down to a high of 59 percent in the Philippines, 54 percent in Indonesia, 44 percent in Thailand, and 41 percent in Malaysia. The most careful parents are in Singapore, where only 23 percent of parents do not know what their children are playing.
Players throughout this area are very much at risk of downloading fake apps. For example, in the Philippines, although 71 percent of consumers check the authenticity of an app before downloading it, almost half have encountered fake apps. Consumers in other countries are equally at risk: 51 percent in Indonesia, 50 percent in Singapore, 50 percent in Thailand and 38 percent in Malaysia have downloaded risky or fake apps.
Across these regions, a very significant number of users seem unaware of the need for protection on their mobile devices. The number of users who do not use mobile security or anti-virus apps on their devices is highest in Singapore, at 58 percent. Malaysia and Thailand follow, with 44 percent of players using unprotected devices, and approximately one third of survey respondents in Indonesia and the Philippines use no form of protection on their devices.
Trend Micro has recognized the need for greater security on mobile devices and has responded with a new app called Dr. Safety. This app has six different safeguarding features; users will be much less likely to be deceived by a game that is a fake or risky app. Dr. Safety is available from the Google Play Store.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.