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Thai Game Industry Overview

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An invited presentation at the Game & Creative Contents Networking Bangkok 2014. A quick overview of the Thai Game Industry. …

An invited presentation at the Game & Creative Contents Networking Bangkok 2014. A quick overview of the Thai Game Industry.

A directory of Thai Companies are provided in the given handbook from the event, so I have not included the list here.

Currently our Thai Game Software Industry Association is working on a new Directory. Once it is done, I'll include the link to the directory.


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  • 1. Overview of the Game Industry in Thailand Pisal Setthawong
  • 2. About the Speaker Pisal Setthawong • Award Winning and Early Pioneer in the Thai Game Industry – Co-Founded Pigsss Games • Developer Community Volunteer/Organizer • Well-travelled Game Educator • Committees at various Game Events /Organizations Pisal Setthawong © 2014 2
  • 3. Outline of Talk • Overview of the Game Industry in Thailand – Timeline – Actors/Stakeholders in Thailand – The Gamers • Future Opportunities and Challenges of the Industry Pisal Setthawong © 2014 3
  • 4. TIMELINE Overview of the Game Industry in Thailand Maturity Trials Early Pisal Setthawong © 2014 4
  • 5. Major Period Classifications in the Thai Game Development Industry (1/2) PC • Start of Industry • 2000 PC Mobile PDA • Rise of Mobile • 2002-2005 ??? • Mobile Market Crash • 2005 Maturity Trials Early Pisal Setthawong © 2014 5
  • 6. Major Period Classifications in the Thai Game Industry (2/2) MMOG Console PC Casual • Transition Phase • 2005-2008 FB Mobile • The Rise of Facebook and the App Store • 2009-2011 • Increasing Maturity • 2011-Present Maturity Trials Early Pisal Setthawong © 2014 6
  • 7. View the Timeline • View the timeline at: http://www.tiki-toki.com/ timeline/imagemode/291692/ Thai-Game-Industry-Timeline/ http://tinyurl.com/pnz3wn6 Maturity Trials Early Pisal Setthawong © 2014 7
  • 8. ACTORS/STAKEHOLDERS Overview of the Game Industry in Thailand Pisal Setthawong © 2014 8
  • 9. Actors/Stakeholders Pisal Setthawong © 2014 9
  • 10. Developers (Overview) • Industry started in 2000 • Virtually all of the Early Game Development Studios were self-funded • Huge Expansion during 2011-Present – Open Publishing Platforms – Lower Cost of Entry – Seed Funding/Incubators/Investors – Foreign Investment – Increased Acceptance by Society • Most Studios are small in size (less than 10 people) focused on creating original IPs on Mobile Platform Pisal Setthawong © 2014 10
  • 11. Developers • Industry started in 2000 • Virtually all of the Early Game Development Studios were self-funded • Huge Expansion during 2011-Present – Open Publishing Platforms – Lower Cost of Entry – Seed Funding/Incubators/Investors – Foreign Investment – Expanding Game Market – Increased Acceptance by Society Pisal Setthawong © 2014 11
  • 12. Developers • Currently most Studios are small in size (less than 10 people) and focused on creating original IPs on Mobile Platform • Different Developers have different focus, leading to products on different platforms and services provided • Strong entrepreneur spirit, more experienced developers have a tendency to start their own company Pisal Setthawong © 2014 12
  • 13. Developers • Thai Developer have a good record in developing hits and original IPs over the years – Juice Cubes – Unblock Me – Candy Meleon – Jigsaw Mansion – Glow Hockey – Etc. Pisal Setthawong © 2014 13
  • 14. Publishers • Traditionally focus on MMOGs – Ragnarok Online was first major hit – Influx of imported games (mainly Korean) • Some Local Publishers Publish Local Developed MMOGs Games Pisal Setthawong © 2014 14
  • 15. Publishers • Currently publishers are entering the Mobile Publishing sphere – Many different publishing models are offered • Microinvestment in Projects – Some Provide Development/Publishing Platforms – Publishing process, guidelines, best practices are still being ironed out • Potential for increasing collaboration with local developers Pisal Setthawong © 2014 15
  • 16. Investors • Investment in the game development sector is minimal until about 2010 (Coincide with Global Game/Startup Culture Boom) • Foreign and Local Investments in Game Development Studios is becoming common – A number of Japanese Companies have created subsidiaries in Thailand Pisal Setthawong © 2014 16
  • 17. Investors • Local Publishers/Investors/Banks have improved perception of the Game Industry • Investment from Thai investors comes in many flavors: – Seed Funding – Support Funding – Investment – Grants – Competition Grants Pisal Setthawong © 2014 17
  • 18. Government • ICT Ministry and SIPA supports Thai Game Development – Thailand Ministry of ICT Awards with Categories in Entertainment – Periodical Contests for Seed Funding – Funding to join Overseas Events (e.g. Games Connection, GDC, Tokyo Game Show, etc.) – Business Matching Events – Funding for Trade Association Events • Other Notable Agencies – DEP (Department of Export Promotion), Software Park, TK Park • Board of Investment (BOI) Incentives available Pisal Setthawong © 2014 18
  • 19. Associations Game & Interactive Digital Entertainment Association Thai Game Software Industry Association Thai Digital Entertainment Content Federation Thai Animation and Computer Graphic Association Software Association of Thailand Pisal Setthawong © 2014 19
  • 20. Developer Community • TGDC is the Largest Thai Game Developer Community (on FB) • https://www.facebook.com/groups/thaigamepad • Most discussions in the Local Game Developer Community are done in Thai • However, most developers are Bilingual (Thai/English) • Approval are admin-approval Pisal Setthawong © 2014 20
  • 21. Academic • Most Major Universities offer Major/Minor in Game Development • Game Developers/Association have contacts with many Universities • Challenges – Effectiveness hampered by University Regulations – Coursework needs realignment with Industry Needs – Potential for too much dependency on Tools – Student Attitudes Pisal Setthawong © 2014 21
  • 22. Media • Traditional Strong in Print Media • Online Media surpassing Print Media in Popularity • Word of Mouth via social network is an important media • E-Sports is increasing in popularity • G-Square is Thailand’s dedicated gaming channel (Sadly Closed 2013) Pisal Setthawong © 2014 22
  • 23. THE GAMERS Overview of the Game Industry in Thailand Pisal Setthawong © 2014 23
  • 24. Quick Statistics • Population: 65,479,453 (2010 Census) • Major Language: Thai • Major Consumer of Media, Games, and Mobile Pisal Setthawong © 2014 24
  • 25. Thailand Mobile Overview Post-Paid 6,481,372 7,050,943 7,256,473 7,938,934 9,782,683 10,740,629 Pre-Paid 55,355,792 58,901,370 64,469,827 69,510,532 75,229,728 79,244,232 Total 61,837,164 65,952,313 71,726,300 77,449,466 85,012,411 89,984,861 0 10,000,000 20,000,000 30,000,000 40,000,000 50,000,000 60,000,000 70,000,000 80,000,000 90,000,000 100,000,000 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 NBTC, Thailand, June 25, 2013 Mobile Penetration (131%) (2013 Q2) 85% of Mobile Phones Sold in 2013 are Smart Phones GfK Retail and Technology Asia 2013 Pisal Setthawong © 2014 25
  • 26. Thailand Internet Usage Overview • 60% of Mobile Users Access Internet through Mobile Device • 72% of People Under 24 have access to the Internet • Out of ~22 mil households, only about 1 mil household have wired Internet – Internet Cafes traditionally provide Internet connectivity to the masses but decreasing in significance due to mobile Internet connectivity National Statistic Office 2012 Pisal Setthawong © 2014 26
  • 27. Thailand App Market Analysis App Annie – Intelligence Jul 2013 Pisal Setthawong © 2014 27 Revenue 2M USD 1M USD 3M USD Download 25M 50M 75M ARPDL ~0.09 USD ~0.02 USD ~0.04 USD Monthly Statistics of Thailand App Market (July 2013) ARPDL - Average Revenue Per Download
  • 28. Thai Gamer Quirks • Typically avoid paying for Premium games • Less resistant to paying Games as a Service • High tendency of migration between F2P games • Female Gamers usually pay than Male Gamers • Vibrant Item Auction Community • Mobile is the Gaming Device of Choice Pisal Setthawong © 2014 28
  • 29. Thai Gamer Quirks • Low ARPDL • Credit Card Issues – Lack of Trust in Using Credit Card for Online Transaction – Low Credit Card Penetration (~15 Mil Cards) • Payment Gateways/Game Cards are popular among gamers Pisal Setthawong © 2014 29 BOT Report July 2012
  • 30. Thai Gamer Quirks • Social Media is very popular – Line (22 Million Accts) 1 – FB (18 Million Accts) 2 • Social Media Users are also heavy consumers of digital media and games Pisal Setthawong © 2014 30 1. Line 2014 2. Zocial Inc 2013
  • 31. FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE INDUSTRY Overview of the Game Industry in Thailand Pisal Setthawong © 2014 31
  • 32. Opportunities • The Whole ecosystem in Thailand is Now Finally Complete – Support from all relevant agencies and units can help push forward the Industry • Increased investment both local and abroad • Increasing maturity of the academic sector in the production of personnel to the market • Increasing experience of newly founded Game Development Studios • Thais are known to be very creative and artistic Pisal Setthawong © 2014 32
  • 33. Challenges • Local Investors and Publishers are relatively new to the Mobile Ecosystem • Thai personnel can be very individualized • Academic may not be supplying the right type of developer to the gaming industry • Making the local market more sustainable for a wider genre/platforms by changing consumer attitudes • Increasing Cost Pisal Setthawong © 2014 33
  • 34. POTENTIAL COLLABORATION Overview of the Game Industry in Thailand Pisal Setthawong © 2014 34
  • 35. Potential Collaborations • Thailand and Japan share many common characteristics but are also in the same way quite different • There are many areas of potential collaboration Pisal Setthawong © 2014 35
  • 36. Potential Collaborations For Developers • Outsourcing • Co-Production • Talent Exchange • Localization Publishers • Publish Games specific to locale • Co-Publish Games • Exchange of Knowledge about Individual Market Quirks Pisal Setthawong © 2014 36
  • 37. Potential Collaborations • Other Collaborations – Tradeshows – Joint Developer Events – Knowledge Exchange – Academic Exchange – Investment in Local Partners Pisal Setthawong © 2014 37
  • 38. Q&A SESSION Pisal Setthawong © 2014 38
  • 39. Thank You! • For additional queries, feel free to drop me an e-mail at: pisal@pigsssgames.com • I can also be contacted via my personal page at FB: https://www.facebook.com/pisal.setthawong Pisal Setthawong © 2014 39

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