What Are The Most Popular Game Genres in Southeast Asia?

Southeast Asia’s gaming scene is a special playing field. Every part of the region’s key markets, which include Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia, is entirely unique in its gaming preferences and habits. However, one aspect they each have in common is their sheer passion for video gaming – especially the mobile variant. 

Within that variant are numerous other subcategories of games, and the way Southeast Asian nations go wild for them is, yet again, different. Here’s a brief insight into the gaming habits of gamers in this part of the world.

Southeast Asia Gamers Love Strategy (& Mobile) Games the Most

The most popular game genre in Southeast Asia is strategy. Newzoo revealed that over a third of the region’s people play strategy games, with 36% of mobile users, 32% of console players, and 29% of PC gamers enjoying this type.

Naturally, mobile’s percentage is higher in this region, which is unsurprising since Southeast Asian gamers seemingly play this genre the most, with almost half paying Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and approximately a third playing Clash Royale and Plants vs. Zombies on mobile.

In contrast, the most popular genre on console and PC is shooters, with more than one-third of Southeast Asia’s video gamers playing this type on PC and console. On PC, the highest-played franchise is League of Legends, while FIFA is the most popular title on console. 

Esports Is Widespread Across Southeast Asia

Esports is at the core of the worldwide gaming market, and Southeast Asia is a major player. As Newzoo explained, over half of internet users in Southeast Asia watched game-related video content in a six-month period (2019/2020). 

With Southeast Asia being mobile-oriented, it’s only natural that the region’s most popular esports titles reflect this. The world’s most popular esports games are CS: GO, League of Legends, and Dota 2; however, the two primary esports titles that South East Asia laps up the most are PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – both mobile titles. In fact, the former became the most-watched Battle Royale esports title of 2022

iGaming in Southeast Asia Has Seen a Surge

According to the e-conomy SEA report, it’s estimated that as many as 40 million Singaporeans, Malaysians, Vietnamese, Indonesians, Thais, and Filipinos went online for the first time in 2020, bringing the number of internet users in that region to over 400 million. Why the sudden surge? The pandemic, of course.

In a time when going out, mingling, and engaging in leisure was forbidden, people turned to the internet to pass the time – one such activity that shot to popularity was iGaming. Millions in their droves headed to betting platforms and online casinos for entertainment, as well as to enjoy social interaction in these internet game outlets with other players.

Ideally, given the issue of security and legality of gambling in Southeast Asia, players should only seek out the most reputable online casino Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia (and the rest of the region) have to offer and ensure they gamble safely, responsibly, and legally.

Generally, although online slots are seeing significant headway in the region, online poker remains a top fan pick in Southeast Asia (both video and live dealer versions). Interestingly, the game is exceedingly popular in India and China, with its prevalence spreading to the South East. Moreover, sports betting reigns high on the favoritism scale – particularly horse racing, soccer, and famed US sporting events like the NBA, NBL, and NFL.