Thailand aims to drive growth its games and content industry

30 Sep 2021 l 16:23

Article by Busaba Sivasomboon

Currently, key digital organizations involved in the economy, are joining forces to push the Thai gaming industry, so as to attain the level of a regional hub. 

In past decades, Thailand has relied on traditional sectors like agriculture, vehicle building and exports, textiles and garments to drive the engines of development. Though Thailand has successfully diversified its economy base into tourism, health care, and other services, the country appears to be in the midst of a prolonged middle-income malaise. 

Recently, the government has stepped up its activities by launching a national master plan to move into the higher-value segment of economic activity generating larger incoming revenue for all parties. Then, the digital industry was chosen as one of the new S-curve industries expected to propel a new round of growth. 

The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) was established in 2017. Among its objectives was to support the progress of the Thai digital industry’s adoption of innovation and technology.

The agency says the digital industry has five main subsectors: hardware; digital services; software packages; information-communication technologies; and digital content.

Games, animation, big data, and data analytics are parts of digital content. Among those subsectors, gaming has shown huge potential for growth in line with global technology advancement and new consumer lifestyles.

The games industry in Southeast Asia is seeing outstanding growth, with the market in 2019 being valued at 140,000 Mil.THB - an increase of 22% yoy, according to Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, Depa’s President and CEO

Dr. Nuttapon said Thailand’s gaming industry jumped on the band wagon. It has been growing by between 10 and 15 per cent per year in the past few years. 

NewZoo, an international games and esports analytics and market research group, ranked Thailand at 20th globally in terms of game revenue, worth US$692 million in 2019. The Kingdom is the second largest in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia, which ranks 17th. 

After almost a year under the pandemic, the number of game players in the kingdom rose to 32 million and helped the market generate over a billion dollars in 2020, NewZoo reported.

While other sectors are hard hit by coronavirus pandemic outbreaks, the gaming industry has shown its resiliency. Kasikorn Research Center, has pointed out that the pandemic and periodic lockdowns are two key factors driving Thai online game industry.  

More affordable gaming computers, the rise of mobile gaming and a new generation enthusiastic about e-sports is giving rise to a massive and fast-growing gaming industry in Thailand, DEPA noted.  

Nevertheless, the gaming industry is still at an early stage, Thai developers are struggling to found successful businesses. To be able of compete at an international level, local entrepreneurs are in need of support from the public and private sectors. 

In dealing with a lack of specialists and skilled labor in the industry, DEPA has collaborated with the Thai Game Software Industry Association (TGA) and Infofed Co., Ltd. Thailand’s top esport company in launching a “Game Accelerator Program” providing training in game design and development, as well as opportunities to access funding and run a trial before a commercial launch.

The program was held twice this year with a number of high potential developers joining the seminar. 

Nenin Ananbanchachai, president of TGA, said today the game industry has accounted for 85% of the digital content industry, equal to 29 billion baht in 2020, wjile the anticipated growth would be 15% on average in 2021.

The changing notion of the gaming industry from a recreation to a professional E-Sports competition is another key factor accelerating growth. 

On September 21st, esports was promoted to the level of a professional sport in Thailand. Therefore, esport athletes and associations are able to receive financial and other kinds of support from the “Professional Sports Promotion Fund” of the Sports Authority of Thailand.  

Many believe it is a crucial movement in promoting the popularity of electronic games among local people, especially youngsters because there will be a lot more competition tournaments at many levels such as provincial and national contests. These events will accelerate its popularity and translate into the high growth of the Thai games industry.

DEPA believes the prosperity of this industry will be passed on to related businesses as well, such as event organizers, content creators, game reviewers, video production businesses, event venues and accommodation businesses. 

Information and Source

Reporter : Tarin Angskul

Rewriter : Tarin Angskul

National News Bureau : http://thainews.prd.go.th