Insights Into Malaysias Games Market And Its Gamers
This article is a collaboration between Newzoo and gamescom asia.
Following on from our previous article about Southeast Asia’s games market and our Indonesia infographic, we’re turning our analytical eye to Malaysia’s games market. Malaysia’s 20.1 million gamers spent an impressive $673 million on games last year alone, meaning it’s one of the biggest games markets in Southeast Asia (in terms of absolute revenues).
In this article, we’ll zoom in on the country’s gamers, including the share of the population that plays and watches game content, their favorite games and genres, and some of their in-game spending behavior. We focus on Malaysia’s active Internet users (age 10-50) in a representative selection of major cities.
Mobile Is Most Popular, But PC and Console Are Also Prevalent
Like many Southeast Asian markets, most of the urban online population are gamers. While mobile is the most popular platform, the majority also play on console and PC:
* 75% play games on mobile;
* 66% play games on PC; and
* 55% play on console.
As you can see in the chart below, these shares include the majority of both men and women in Malaysia’s urban online population:
Share of Gaming Online Urban Population in Malaysia
Share of Men and Women Who Play
The majority of paying gamers (87%) spent money on in-game items or virtual goods in the past six months, which makes sense given the market’s enjoyment of free-to-play games across all platforms. The most commonly bought item is power-ups, for men (43%) and women (40%) alike.
The majority (61%) of Malaysia’s urban online population watches gaming video content. Interestingly, 7% watch game content regularly but play games less than once per month.
Puzzle, Strategy, and Shooter Games Reign in Malaysia
The high share of paying gamers in Malaysia who buy power-ups makes sense, when looking at the market’s top-played franchises. Half played Candy Crush Saga and 46% played Candy Crush Soda Saga in the past six months alone—two games with monetization leaning heavily on power-ups.
However, the market’s most popular genre is strategy, with more than a third of the urban online population playing the genre on mobile (38%), PC (38%), and via casual-game sites/social networks (32%).
The most popular game in the strategy genre is Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, which 35% of Malaysia’s online urban population played in the past six months. The game’s developer, Moonton, is a prime example of a Chinese developer who has successfully entered the Southeast Asian market, alongside fellow Chinese developers Tencent and NetEase.
Interestingly, each of the top five most-played franchises in the last six months came from foreign developers, including the Mario franchise, which was played by 36%. This high share reflects the franchise’s widespread appeal, nostalgia, and perhaps the sheer number of different titles, platforms, and genres covered within the franchise (platformers, racing games, sports titles, party games, and more.)
Southeast Asia is full of unique and interesting markets such as Malaysia, and no two are the same. So, stay tuned for more articles zooming in on the region. In the meantime, check out these market trends and publishers to watch in Southeast Asia.
Looking for High-Level Data on Malaysia and Other Games Markets?
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