What did we learn about gaming in 2020?
Never underestimate Asia.
The region’s growth is shaping the future as we speak.
Home to 1.5 billion users and counting, it’s the largest gaming region, with 48% of the world’s total gaming revenue ($69 billion) in 2019.
But to tap into that momentum, it’s important to understand local users’ diverse tastes.
China’s gamers are shifting to strategy games that tap into historical heroes and storylines.
Japanese gamers crave role-playing games (RPGs) with familiar flavors.
RPGs are also a top choice for South Korean gamers.
In India, gamers go for action titles and “lite” versions of games that don’t use up their data plans.
People across Southeast Asia are seeking social connection through gaming.
Worldwide, more people are playing games. In Asia, they’re playing for longer, too.
Weekly mobile game downloads grew 20% year over year in Q2 2020, breaking a record 1.2 billion downloads in the first week of the quarter.
Time spent on gaming is up 25% in Singapore, 40% in the Philippines, and 32% in Japan.
Hybrid games are winning wider audiences by combining the strengths of different genres.
Hybrid-genre games in Asian markets grew by almost 2X year over year in the first half of 2020.
And as female players level the playing field, the face of gaming is changing.
Year-over-year growth is faster for female gamers in Asia (14.8%) than male gamers (7.8%).
At this rate, female gamers will overtake male gamers by 2027.
People aren’t just spending more time playing games. They’re also spending more money.
Thirty-seven percent of mobile gamers have spent more than they typically would before the pandemic.
Asia’s most popular monetization model, free-to-play (F2P), has been the key to revenue growth.
But a rising trend toward hybrid monetization is allowing brands to reach more players without having to rely on a single revenue stream.
So what do marketers need to know to stay ahead of Asian gamers’ needs in this fast-evolving region?
First, understand how the interests of core and casual gamers differ.
For core gamers, get them in the zone:
1. Create an immersive experience.
2. Showcase details like customization.
3. Speak to their desire to be challenged.
But for casual gamers, help them zone out:
1. Demo gameplay to show them how easy it is.
2. Use simple sound effects to distract from their environment.
3. Keep messaging focused on relaxing and detaching.
Regardless of the type of player you’re trying to reach, add a new dimension to your marketing strategy with video streaming.
For extra impact, work with trusted influencers who know their audiences well enough to stimulate interest and drive app downloads.
And lean into live online events to build your subscriber base and nurture player loyalty.
As gaming attracts more diverse players, the landscape is rapidly changing.
Read more about how you can use Think with Google’s insights to make the most of the opportunity in Asia.
Marketing Manager, Apps & Games
Copy & Design: Google Brand Studio APAC; Story: Jess Duarte; Product Lead: Casey Fictum; Production Lead: Brooke Persich.