Games

Exploring the Remarkable Thai Gaming Market Worth over $1 billion

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Places like China, the Korea Republic, Japan, the United States, and even India often come to mind when thinking about the world’s biggest and most prominent gaming markets. However, with the widespread adoption of all forms of gaming, Thailand has risen to become a powerhouse market, generating over $1 billion to the $175 billion markets each year.

Southeast Asia is well-known for its mobile gaming affinity, but Thailand is somewhat unique in that all platforms are widely adopted. According to insights into Thailand’s games market and its consumers, among the urban population, 95 percent of gamers play on mobile, only 11 percent fewer play on computers, and nearly 70 percent game on consoles.

Here, we’re exploring the ins and outs of the bustling gaming nation, from Thailand’s top games to its emerging eSports prominence.

 

Top genres of the Thai gaming scene

If there’s one game genre that can be pointed to as the driver of Thai gaming, it’s role-playing games. RPGs, and especially MMORPGs, are huge, boasting far more online gamers than any other genre. Fighting games are next up, with the PC-favoured strategy games just behind. Action and adventure games also have a good user base, as do casual games like many mobile titles, and so too do casino and card games, with 15 percent of online gamers preferring this genre.

In many countries, the casino genre can’t reach its greatest possible audience due to a lack of resources for players. Here, however, comprehensive online gambling in Thailand guides help to single out the best sites as well as offer tips for playing the games. With platforms only selecting the sites that are licensed, offer user-friendly promotions, and high RTPs, online Thai casino players can rest assured that they’re gambling on a trustworthy site, helping to fuel it as a popular gaming genre.

 

Games atop the charts in Thailand

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While it’s not the only gaming platform in Thailand and isn’t even the runaway leading platform, the popularity of mobile games can’t be understated. Right now, Garena is the biggest name. Garena Free Fire has long dominated the highest-grossing charts, but just behind is Garena Free Fire MAX. The football game eFootball PES manages to hold a strong player base as well, but the Garena titles reign supreme.

Of course, the big-hitting console games also do well, even to the extent that Sony has singled out Thailand as a priority market for the PlayStation 5 going forward. The popularity of gaming as entertainment has been strong enough for long enough that it’s even inspired creatives to get involved. Sandbox Global created the popular PC social game Stylista, Novaleaf is the Bangkok-based studio behind the classic Biology Battle, and the exceptional Earth Atlantis 2 has a sequel on the way, courtesy of Pixel Perfex.

 

Competing on the world stage

Over the last half-a-decade, eSports has exploded into a $1 billion industry in its own right. Games like Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and League of Legends have become the pillars of the industry, with many people seeking to learn how to play the incredibly popular MOBA. League of Legends also happens to be Thailand’s most successful eSport, in terms of team earnings.

Even though Thailand has relatively few LoL teams – compared to the number of teams competing in Overwatch, CS:GO, and Dota 2 – it has proven to be a very important title for Thai eSports. Just four teams have won nearly $280,000. Close behind, with many more teams, are the earnings in Dota 2 and CS:GO. The 15 Dota 2 teams have won just over $250,000, while the 14 CS:GO teams have earned nearly $90,000 to date.

In Thailand, eSports is taken seriously, allowing talented players to explore it as a true opportunity. At the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, in the Philippines, Thailand won two gold and two silver medals, inspiring more gamers to see if they’re ready to compete in the biggest online multiplayer titles.

Now, Thailand stands 19th in the world in total eSports earnings, with 1249 eSports players earning over $12 million. Dota 2 is the game of choice for the two highest individual earners, “Jabz” and “23savage,” but the next seven highest earners have all made their money in Arena of Valor, as have a total of 13 of the top 20 highest Thai earners.

Thailand boasts an incredibly exciting gaming scene that spans all of the biggest platforms in the world. With a strong footing in competitive gaming, we only expect the $1 billion industry to grow further.

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