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Why are Web3 Mobile Games so Popular, Especially in Asia? by@andersonbhann
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Why are Web3 Mobile Games so Popular, Especially in Asia?

by Anderson BhanJune 14th, 2023
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A recent study suggests Asia captures over 80% of Web3 based mobile gaming market. The Asia Pacific region makes up 55% of global gamers, with a total number of 1.7 billion gamers, contributing over $72 billion in annual gaming revenue. Internet, technology, and digitalization overall have been redefining APAC regions.

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A recent study suggests Asia captures over 80% of Web3 based mobile gaming market, with it housing over 55% of global gamers.


According to a recent study by DappRadar, the Asia Pacific region makes up 55% of global gamers, with a total number of 1.7 billion gamers, contributing over $72 billion in annual gaming revenue. That figure is astonishing, especially considering some of the restrictions a lot of countries such as China or South Korea in the region host around Web3 gaming, or even gaming in general.


Another report suggested global gaming growth will be around $81.5B in revenue by games by 2030, with a CAGR of 43.7%, with Asia being one of the biggest registrants and contributors given the growing demands for banking, e-commerce, finance, healthcare, and more.


Internet, technology, and digitalization overall have been redefining APAC regions, especially with Southeast Asian markets making strides in the adoption of future technologies. Evidence shows companies such as Maplestory Universe, Square Enix’s Symbiogenesis, or Affyn’s Buddy Arena gaining significant traction in the east. Southeast Asia, in general, has seen higher adoption of Web3 and cryptocurrency wallets overall compared to the rest of APAC, including the Indian sub-continent or China, with at least one metaverse-related tech in usage as of 2022 by over 70% of the population.


With the majority of the labor force being applied by small to medium-scale enterprises, a lot of the population in the SEA region faces difficulty in gaining basic financial services. The largely unbanked population with a lack of financial infrastructure prefers access to alternative financial services just with a smartphone, which has made fintech and blockchain-related technologies a driving factor. Not only has it allowed users to support transactions and store coins or digital assets, but it also cultivated social activities and gatherings, virtual or physical, while participating in various activities ranging from decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to creating community-based events.


Singapore-based entrepreneur Lucaz Lee, also the CEO of metaverse platform Affyn, is a community that is allowing growth of such social interactions through their community-based game Buddy Arena. Given the income-generation opportunities that games and blockchain-based projects present, the population within the region has been unlocking new ways to derive value from community-based events, with increased values between brands and consumers. Affyn has been hosting community-based events for its ongoing closed alpha in Asian cities such as Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manilla, and more. Take, for example, Netmarble, a South Korean gaming giant that integrated blockchain technology to launch a game utilizing its core IP “Let’s Get Rich,” which is the third most downloaded game with 150M downloads, behind Pokemon Go (655M) and Fortnite (350M).


Despite recent regulatory challenges and bans, the South Korean government has shown great support towards tech startups working on metaverse-related projects with grants in efforts to boost tech within the country. Social networking platforms such as Zepeto entering the world of Web3 has been a consequent result, with it being one of the largest metaverse-like platforms in Asia, where users interact through avatars that they can personalize with virtual accessories with partners such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren.


However, with countries like China banning decentralized digital currencies, consortium chains involving verified organizations have taken charge, resulting in increased Web3 adaption in a few focused areas in digital collection sectors. For example, auction house Sotheby’s recently launched Sotheby’s Metaverse to sell NFTs, similar to the way it sells fine art and antiques.


As the world witnesses developments every day, it’s clear to see that consumer interest in the Asian market is substantial, especially when it comes to Blockchain-based gaming. Another example comes from Pacific Meta, which recently conducted the first-ever survey on blockchain in Japan and market research on over 1,030 individuals. Over 40% knew about blockchain-based games, with over 57% having a positive impression of them and what’s to come from the technology, while only 10% with a negative impression.


When asked about blockchain games, the majority responded with an interest in free-to-play games, with the ability to play them on a mobile phone, as criteria such as earnings, consoles, and famous IP had low preferences on the list. The survey shed light on existing market sentiments that the industry has seen for much of 2022 and continued in 2023 that Web3 games need to focus outside of crypto elements first and foremost, and at least in Japan - the initial cost might be a determining factor for many.


Indeed, not just Asia but the world, in general, is seeing significant shifts in culture with Web3 through empowered communities and upending the current value exchanges in transactions. Brands and companies in the ecosystem or beyond first must understand that web3 aims to return value to individuals, promoting democratization and decentralization. Focus on community building, wallet strategies, and the development of games, content, and experiences in the form of digital goods and immersive experiences will remain key.