Sat, Sep 01, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Southeast Asian gaming platform says Taiwan is perfect test bed for e-sports

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Sea Ltd, which operates Southeast Asia’s biggest gaming and e-commerce platforms, on Wednesday reiterated the importance of the Taiwanese market in the company’s plans to capitalize on the rapid growth of e-sports.

Taiwan is the 15th-largest video gaming market in the world, with an estimated 13 million active gamers generating US$1 billion in annual revenues, Sea officials said at a forum in Taipei.

The global video gaming market is forecast to grow from US$2.2 billion to US$4 billion by 2021, with most of the momentum concentrated in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, in part due to relatively high English-language proficiency in those countries, the Singaporean company said.

As gaming moves toward the mainstream, parents, governments and businesses have become aware of the fledgling industry’s ability to stir up growth in related ecosystems other than hardware, including digital marketing, content creation, financial services and event planning, with many young people seeing e-sports as a possible career path, the company said.

E-sports’ total audience is approaching the combined tally of the world’s favorite sports and its legitimacy as a sports spectacle has been boosted by its inclusion as a demonstration event at the Asian Games in Indonesia, which conclude tomorrow.

The International e-Sports Federation is in talks with organizers of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics about incorporating e-sports as a demonstration sport.

Taiwan has always been a market to test new ideas with the aim of replicating success in other regions, Sea group chief strategy officer Alan Hellawell said.

He said he is optimistic that Taiwan can build up its e-sports culture, much like the way a professional baseball clubs were established on the foundation of decades of baseball culture.

Companies should take heed of anticipated trends in e-sports, including a total migration from PCs to a mobile experience, Hellawell said.

Countries around the world should also pursue self-developed titles catering to the local market to further growth, he said.

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