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