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60% of Greater Southeast Asia gamers are "strongly drawn to esports"

New Niko Partners report finds 42% of players from the region prefer competitive arena titles, spend the most on games

Almost two thirds of the gaming population in Greater Southeast Asia are engaged in esports.

That's according to a new study by Niko Partners that explores the segmentation of gamers in the area -- defined in the report as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Niko found that there were seven distinct types of player in the region: competitive arena gamer, fantasy arena gamer, arena gamer, strategist, skill master, casual challenger and story socialiser.

The three arena gamer segments are all "strongly drawn to esports" and represented 60% of the overall market.

Competitive arena gamers alone represent 42% of the GSEA market. These players we found to be most likely aged between 12 and 23, and are driven by the key motivators of competition and completion.

These are also the highest spenders across all seven segments, averaging at $15.80 per month on PC games and $10.10 per month on mobile.

The fantasy arena gamer segment had the highest percentage of female players, while the arena gamer segment had the lowest. Both are motivated by a mix of competition and community.

Casual challengers were the second biggest segment overall, and are most likely to be aged 36 or older. This was the only group that shared the same motivators as competitive arena gamers.

Elsewhere, skill masters are most likely to be 24 years old or older, story socialisers are the players most likely to play on multiple platforms, and strategists are most likely to play on PC.

"Gamers in Greater Southeast Asia are primarily motivated by competition, completion, community and challenge, according to our findings in this report," said Niko Partners managing director Lisa Cosmas Hanson. "These are also the most essential values of esports - which explains why GSEA is the fastest growing region for esports.

"A surprising outcome of this study is how different the GSEA gamers are from western gamers. However, they have much in common with Chinese gamers, per a similar segmentation analysis we did in China."

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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