Video Game Industry: Statistics, Demographics and Trends in Singapore

Asia is the biggest games market globally – 45% of the world’s gamers1 are based in the region – and Singapore is a rapidly-emerging force. The country’s games market is expected to continue growing over the next few years.

This blog reveals the latest video game statistics, demographics and trends, and looks at how popular is gaming in Singapore.

Want Global Stats? Read our article on key stats and trends for the Global Video Game Industry.

Video game industry statistics in Singapore

The city-state is a key player in the South-East Asia games market, as demonstrated by these insights into market growth and video game industry revenue in Singapore:

  • Singapore’s games and esports market was estimated to have grown 15% between 2019 and 20202 to around 220 games-related companies.
  • Players in Singapore spent $327.2 million3 on games in 2019.
  • The number of gamers in Singapore is expected to be 3 million people by 20264 – which is 48.5% penetration.
  • 80% of paying gamers have spent money on in-game items or virtual goods5 over the last six months.
  • Sales of game consoles and video games in Singapore were estimated to have risen 7.8% between 2019 and 20206.
  • The top genre of video game played per platform7 are puzzle (mobile), action/adventure (console) and shooter (PC).

Video game industry demographics

It’s interesting to look at who plays video games (demographics) in Singapore to understand what is driving market growth.

A 2020 gaming survey by Rakuten Insight into the share of online gamers in Singapore by age group found the percentage of each age8 category that play online games was as follows:

  • 72% of respondents aged 16-24 years old
  • 68% of respondents aged 25-34 years old
  • 57% of respondents aged 35-44 years old
  • 48% of respondents aged 45-54 years old
  • 30% of respondents aged 55+ years old.

Insights into the Singaporean games market9 by Newzoo and gamescom asia10 reveal that:

  • 74% of men and 68% of women play mobile games
  • 65% of men and 47% of women play games on PC
  • 53% of men and 40% of women play console games.

According to Newzoo, 23% of gamers in Singapore are ‘time fillers’11 (people who play games, mainly on mobile phones, to fill time). They are the largest subset of the country’s gamers.

It is estimated that 46% of the online population in Singapore watches video game content12 and 21% of the urban online population in watches esports13.

Video game industry trends in Singapore

Singapore is a rapidly-emerging force in gaming. Video games are no longer seen as a niche hobby for young people – the multi-million-dollar industry is infiltrating all parts of Singapore life. Here are five trends that are putting the tiny city-state on the world gaming map.

Impact of COVID-19 on video game industry growth in Singapore

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Singaporeans turned to video games to entertain themselves from the safety of their homes. A September 2020 survey into the impact of the pandemic on the frequency of playing video games in Singapore14 found that:

  • 47% of respondents had played video games more often than before the pandemic
  • 32% of respondents had gamed about the same as pre-pandemic
  • 12% of respondents had played video games less frequently during the pandemic.

According to Guilherme Fernandes, a consultant at Newzoo15, the global games market experienced around 20% growth between 2019 and 2020, and the South-East Asian market is expected to triple between 2017 and 2023. In Singapore, mobile games now make up two-thirds of the market as gamers look for new ways to pass time at home.

Singapore Games Week

The inaugural Singapore Games Week16 was held in October 2021, modeled on the highly-successful Melbourne International Games Week format. It was organized by the Singapore Games Association (SGGA) to showcase the country’s gaming industry globally and locally. There is still a stigma around video games in Singapore – it’s generally looked down on as a hobby and viable career path. Jimmy Lin, product manager at indie developer Junkfish, thinks the stigma is due to Singapore’s emphasis on academics: “Even regular sports in Singapore [have that problem]. It’s starting to improve sports-wise. … We’re so academically driven to be engineers, lawyers, doctors.” The SGGA hopes that the annual Singapore Games Week will increase public awareness of the benefits of video games and the viability of the industry so the country can capitalize on the myriad of opportunities.

Major esports hub

Singapore is becoming a major esports hub. In fact, the Global Esports Federation17 – the first global governing body for esports – has set up its headquarters in Singapore. There are a number of factors that give the country a competitive edge:

  • Strong internet infrastructure – According to Riot Games’ regional marketing manager, Nelson Woon18: “We enjoy one of the best fibre optic connectivities in the region that can support seamless cross-market play. 5G is commercially available, and there are ample opportunities for esports organizers and gaming companies to deliver great esports experiences here.”
  • High smartphone penetration – Singapore is a leading country for smartphone use and engagement; penetration is expected to reach 93% of the population19 by 2025.
  • Government support – The Singapore Games Association (SGGA) is backed by three government agencies: Enterprise Singapore, Media Development Authority and Singapore Tourism Board. It wants to position Singapore as a leading esports hub, attractive venue for international esports events and a location where gaming companies want to base their headquarters.
  • Successful esports Singapore gamers – At the 2019 SEA Games, Singapore claimed two major prizes20 and the country has also produced Ho Kun Xian (who came first out of 1600 competitors at the Evolution Championship Series in 2013) and Daryl Koh Pei Xiang (the highest-earning esports player in Singapore).
  • Innovative esports facilities – Singapore is the only country in Asia with a dedicated esports gym21. It offers industry-leading gaming technology and has facilities to help gamers focus on their physical fitness and mental focus. It describes itself as “a centre of excellence for promising e-sports teams…. to foster collaboration between local and international teams, enabling them to share resources and level up their game together.”
  • High-profile influencers – As well as being a famous Singaporean singer, songwriter, record producer and actor, JJ Lin, is a keen gamer who is passionate about esports22. He is a member of the Singapore Esports Association and owns an esports organixation. With 4.6 million followers on Instagram and over 50 million on Weibo, his celebrity status is helping to drive the country’s esports growth.

Increase in female participation

According to Riot Games’ regional marketing manager, Nelson Woon: “Changing attitudes in Singapore opened the doors for more female gamers to make a name for themselves in a traditionally male-dominated space.” In an online gaming survey conducted by Rakuten Insight in 2020, 55% of female Singaporean respondents said they played online games.

This increase in female gamers has led to more female participation in esports tournaments which is why Riot Games has made supporting female Singaporean gamers a key area of focus. It has introduced the Game Changers initiative to Valorant esports to provide more opportunities for women and works with the Female Esports League (FSL). a leading South-East Asian esports organizer that hosts female-only esports leagues.

Dive Deeper: The Problem with Women in Esports

Tourism opportunities

The Singapore Tourism Board is promoting esports as a key part of the country’s culture23 to attract fans from around the world. Its two-day guide for esports enthusiasts shows that traditional attitudes to gaming are starting to shift as esports becomes more mainstream. The action-packed itinerary has been designed by professional esports athlete, Ho Kun Xian. It features the hotspots in Singapore that helped define him as an esports world champion including retro arcades, game stores, communal gaming spots and hawker centers. It’s billed as an opportunity “to get a hands-on experience of the camaraderie in Singapore’s gaming community”.

Specialist mental health resources for helping professionals

As the number of people playing video games in Singapore and around the world continues to rise, so does the prevalence of problematic gaming. It is estimated that 3% of the world’s 3 billion gamers suffer from gaming disorder. To treat the growing number of people seeking support, helping professionals need access to specialist training to advance their knowledge and expertise.

INTENTA’s mental health resources, equip professionals with the skills and tools to help vulnerable players and their families find a healthier relationship with gaming. Discover evidence-based strategies to break down barriers and help your clients regain control of their gaming habits.

Find out more about our internationally-accredited Gaming Disorder Clinical Training today.



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