Monday, June 17, 2024

PH on its way to become major gaming market in Asia Pacific, says Google

The Philippines is one of five countries who are on the way to becoming a major gaming market in the Asia Pacific region, Google’s global head of accelerators Sami Kizilbash declared in his presentation at the 2022 Indie Games Accelerator (IGA) ‘Graduation Day.’

The country, alongside Indonesia, Australia, Vietnam, and Singapore, is seeing growth in terms of volume of gamers, gaming-related startups, and gaming innovations. Anticipated to hold the largest market share in the gaming industry by 2027, the entire region is currently being led by four countries: China, Japan, Korea, and India.

“The gaming industry continues to see potential for growth, and we remain committed to helping the gaming ecosystem and its passionate community of developers and gamers. In these uncertain economic conditions, we believe the gaming industry has the potential to continue growing,” Kizilbash said.

He also added that this steady growth is dependent on two fundamental factors – game developers are able to monetize their works through in-game purchases or subscriptions, and a large pool of gamers who are willing to shell out hard-earned cash for their favorite gaming platforms.

“These two fundamentals persist, despite the challenges businesses may be facing today. Global gaming revenue will reach nearly $340 billion by 2027, up from $198.40 billion in 2021, that’s a compound annual growth rate of 8.94% over 2022-2027,” he cited.

Beyond the fundamental cornerstones that will fuel the growth of the industry, Kizilbash also included specific drivers necessary to achieve this; from the continued advancements in augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, enhancements delivered through cloud gaming and user experiences, a multi-platform approach to game design and development, and the evolution of connectivity via expanding smartphone adoption and higher network bandwidth.

“Asia Pacific also has great infrastructure that creates a nurturing environment for established gaming companies and world-class gaming talent. Many Asia Pacific countries have good internet connectivity or 5G networks that offer high speeds, low latency and large capacities which deliver reliable, uninterrupted connection, and no lag even during peak gaming traffic surges,” he explained.

This infrastructure has allowed large and established game studios (commonly referred to as Triple A) to put up their bases within the region and feed their knowledge and expertise with the local talent, as well as train the next generation of industry talent.

The IGA training program, on the other hand, has been regularly hosted by Google Play to hone the game development skills and gaming business model knowledge of independent gaming studios in the span of three months – culminating in an in-person event in Singapore last December of 2022.

The 10 indie gaming studios who graduated Google’s 2022 Indie Games Accelerator include four representatives hailing from South Korea (Drakemount, Hoit Studio, The Sane Studio, TheAnd Company), three from Indonesia (Eternal Dream Studio, Rigged Box Softworks, Gambir Studio), Australia (Sweaty Chair Studio), Vietnam (VNStart Studio), and the Philippines’ very own Ranida Games.

Kizilbash says that there’s a significant opportunity for indie game developers from the Asia Pacific region to succeed especially now that the annual IGA event has added a dedicated ‘Demo Day’ where developers can actually pitch their projects to investors and publishers – with the first Demo Day in 2020 raising more than $65 million between 40 participating game developers.

“Emerging trends and technologies like HTML5, cloud, streaming, virtual and augmented reality give game developers new ways to create more accessible, realistic, immersive gaming experiences, which indie game developers who typically enjoy more creative freedom than their triple A counterparts, could be more inclined to adopt,” Kizilbash continued.

Another area of opportunity is the increased participation of women and grandparents in the gaming industry where indie game developers have the chance to create more niche gaming experiences. To support the growth of game developers, Google has been actively investing across multiple aspects and platforms involved in gaming like Google Play, Cloud, YouTube, Ads and others.

Unlike China and South Korea where growth is higher on consoles and cloud gaming, the Philippines joins countries like Indonesia and India where the gaming industry’s growth is primarily spurred by the strong support for e-sports and mobile gaming.

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