While PC/console gaming and esports seem to be all the rage in the West, it’s another thing altogether in Malaysia and Singapore – instead, mobile gaming/esports has taken both Southeast Asian countries by storm for the past four years, with Moonton’s Mobile Legends: Bang Bang towering over other games.
According to a report published by Niko Partners, from 2017 to 2019, earnings from mobile gaming in Malaysia has grown by approximately US$100 million at a rate of 17.7% in 2019. In comparison, PC gaming revenue in the country has increased by US$35 million at a rate of 15% in 2019. The same can be said for Singapore, where mobile gaming profits went up to US$35 million at a growth rate of 14.8%, with PC gaming turning in US$5 million at 5.1% within the same three years.
The prominence of mobile games can be attributed to two factors: the support of telo companies, and the mobile esports craze. Malaysia’s first and only digital telco company, Yoodo, saw a 25% increase in sign-ups after releasing a data add-on dedicated to the country’s second-most popular mobile game, PUBG Mobile. On the other hand, Singapore’s Singtel partnered with Razer and other telcos in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines for multiple mobile gaming/esports projects as well.
Even mobile esports contributed to the surging popularity of mobile gaming. The world’s first international MLBB tournament, M1, was held in Kuala Lumpur last year, with a match between Malaysia’s Todak and Indonesian powerhouse RRQ garnering more than 650,000 concurrent viewers on YouTube Gaming. Plus, Tencent held the global tournament of the PUBG Mobile Club Open (PMCO) Fall Split Global Finals 2019 in Malaysia as well, boasting a staggering prize pool of US$500,000.