Mobile games frenzy in Malaysia

Men and women are almost equal in terms of the gamer population in Malaysia at 55.3% and 44.7% respectively, according to Statista

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by BLOOMBERG

MOBILE gaming is big business in Malaysia. Chartboost, a San Francisco-based mobile game platform, stated the gaming market in Malaysia is estimated to be worth RM418 million in 2018.

Mobile games accounted for more than half or RM227 million of the entire gaming market, with the rest noted to be downloadable and online games for consoles and personal computers (PCs).

By the year 2023, analysts predict mobile games will draw less profit, as downloadable PC games continue to dominate the Malaysian market because of its population’s low purchasing power.

Data from Chartboost saw the cost of attracting one player to an Android app was only between 75 sen and RM2.42 as the traffic in Malaysia is relatively inexpensive.

At the end of the day, gaming is where technology, characters, stories, graphics and music intertwine to attract people from all walks of life.

Based on information from a Germany-based statistics portal known as Statista, men and women are almost equal in terms of the gamer population in Malaysia at 55.3% and 44.7% respectively.

About 39.5% of those aged between 25 and 34 spend most of their time on games, while the second-largest segment was contributed by players from the age group of 35-44 at 23.9%.

It was followed by 23.8% of younger players aged between 18 and 24, whereas the older generation spends the least time playing compared to the others — 10.2% of gamers aged 45-54 and 2.8% of those above 55 years old.

StatCounter — a web traffic analysis website in Ireland — said Malaysians generally prefer games with shared preferences and multiplayers with audiences from other Asian countries.

A quick search on the Google Play Store app showed the top five most-played mobile games in Malaysia that have hooked millions of people onto their phones.

1. ‘PUBG Mobile’

“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG) is a multiplayer online battle royale game that was developed by PUBG Corp, a subsidiary of Korean publisher Bluehole.

With more than 100 million downloads on Google Play Store, the game was ranked as the best-selling and most-played mobile video game of all time by June 2018.

Rated 16+ for strong violence, “PUBG Mobile” is a free-to-play action game that enables gamers to survive epic 100-player battles, fast-paced four-people death matches and multiple zombie modes as well.

Survival is the key to this game and the last one standing wins the battle.

With near zero waiting time, players can quickly enter a match and start new challenges every time they play, which makes it exclusive because not every multiplayer game out there has such a system.

Due to its active community, marketing was never really required to promote it. However, it has been banned in some countries for allegedly being harmful and addictive to young players.

2. ‘Mobile Legends:Bang Bang’

“Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” is a multiplayer online battle arena mobile game which was developed and published by Shanghai Moonton Technology.

It is a popular game in South-East Asia with more than 100 million downloads on Google Play Store, and was confirmed as the first e-sports title to be included as a medal event at the upcoming 2019 SEA Games.

Specifically designed for mobile phones, this game features a 99-player battle royale mode showdown against real human opponents.

Gamers can choose their favourite heroes and build their perfect team of comrades.

The 10-minute battle allows gamers to have team battles, tower rushing and many more, to shatter their opponents with a touch of their finger and claim the crown of strongest “Challenger”.

Rated as 7+ for exhibiting mild violence, “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” was ranked the most-downloaded free mobile game app among iPhone users in 2017.

3. ‘Pokémon Go’

Topping the list as another mobile game with more than 100 million downloads on Google Play Store is “Pokémon Go”, an augmented reality game developed by Niantic.

A collaboration between video game firm Nintendo Co Ltd and The Pokémon Co, it was released in 2016 for Android and iOS mobile gamers.

The game uses the GPS of a mobile device to locate, capture, battle and train virtual Pokémon creatures which appear as if they are in the player’s realworld location. It features around 630 species of Pokémon.

Recently, Niantic introduced an updated version of the game called “Pokémon Go Team Rocket”, where players can conduct team battles and connect with trainers across the globe.

“Pokémon Go” has maintained its position as a global gaming sensation and was named as the “Best Mobile Game” by the Game Developers Choice Awards and “Best App of the Year” by TechCrunch.

4. ‘Clash of Clans’

“Clash of Clans” is a free premium mobile strategy video game developed and published by Supercell, a Finland-based game developer.

The game is set in a fantasy-themed world where the players are the chief of a village. They are responsible for building their own town using resources gained from attacking other players through the game’s fighting features.

Through this game, players can also join millions of users worldwide as they create clans, conduct wars, and donate and receive troops.

Although “Clash of Clans” is a game that is free to download and play, Supercell has announced that some game items can also be purchased by gamers with real money.

With over 500 million downloads on Google Play Store, “Clash of Clans” is rated 7+ for its mild violence and has garnered positive reviews from many game critics.

5. ‘Candy Crush Saga’

Another game with more than 500 million downloads on Google Play Store is “Candy Crush Saga”, a free matchthree puzzle video game released by King in 2012.

‘Candy Crush Saga’ is considered one of the 1st and most successful uses of the free premium model

A variation of browser game “Candy Crush”, it was first released for Facebook and later introduced to mobile and PC platforms — namely iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows 10.

With over a trillion levels to play, gamers can complete different levels and plan their moves by matching three or more candies in a row on a game board. The game includes a limit on the number of moves that can be made and a specific amount of time for the level to be completed.

“Candy Crush Saga” is considered one of the first and most successful uses of the free premium model, in which the game can be played completely without spending money.

Five years after its release on mobile, “Candy Crush Saga” was ranked as the highest-grossing mobile app and King has released three more related games called “Soda Saga”, “Jelly Saga” and “Friends Saga”.