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Metaverse, Web 3, Cloud Gaming, Extended Reality and Virtual Influencers are top Asian gaming trends

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Niko Partners, a market research and consultancy organisation specialising in video games, esports, and streaming in Asia and the Middle East, has released their paper The Metaverse and Beyond: Future Trends in Gaming in Asia.

Asia is at the forefront of gaming and is setting the standard for the development and uptake of new technology. This paper examines the key developments that are transforming how consumers interact with games, including the metaverse, web 3, cloud gaming, extended reality, and virtual influencers.

The following are key takeaways from the 83-slide report:

  • The gaming metaverse has transformed the concept of Games-as-a-Service into Games-as-a-Platform. The popularity of social gaming during the pandemic reinforced this trend throughout Asia.

  • Existing technologies and new technologies covered in this paper are among the metaverse's building components. In the medium term, we believe that developing games containing metaverse components will be the most profitable.

  • Web 3 is influencing how games are created, networked, published, and monetized. Most web 3 games, however, have merely scratched the surface of developing monetization strategies like play-to-earn (P2E). The regulation of cryptocurrencies and NFTs has an impact on how web 3 is used in gaming.

  • Web 3 games have received a lot of attention, but the technology still faces hurdles, such as ensuring the long-term viability of models like play to earn.

  • Cloud gaming has a lot of potential in Asia as network infrastructure improves and the installed base of 5G phones grows. Cloud games necessitate a consistent internet connection, consume a large amount of data, and may incur increased input delay during gameplay in places with inadequate infrastructure. Governments across Asia are partnering with telecommunications companies to construct and improve 5G infrastructure.

  • According to our analysis, the addressable market for cloud gaming services in Asia will reach 500 million by 2025, with subscription services dominating. Cloud gaming innovation, including as cloud native games, MILEs, cloud game advertisements, and trials, will drive additional growth.

  • In Asia, Extended Reality (XR) technology is still in its early phases, with Augmented Reality (AR) being the most developed for gaming and Virtual Reality, followed by Mixed Reality technologies.

  • Augmented reality became popular in Asia thanks to mobile devices and apps such as Pokemon Go. Recently, there has been a surge in interest in virtual reality (VR) across the region. According to our survey, more than 40% of respondents in Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Chinese Taipei want to buy a VR gadget.

  • In Asia, virtual influencers are used as idols, streamers, brand ambassadors, entertainers, and other roles. Japan is a global leader in virtual influencers in the gaming industry.

  • Virtual influencers are gaining traction in Asia, and we are witnessing growing use of virtual human technologies and artificial intelligence to create totally digital celebrities. While typically portrayed as risk-free, businesses using virtual influencers will still need to play a significant part in controlling brand identity in order to establish a true connection with consumers.

“Many companies and investors say they are developing toward NFTs in games and blockchain games, or that their games embrace the metaverse,” said Lisa Hanson, founder and president of Niko Partners. “It is important to examine the actual and current stage of implementation of these critical themes in Asia and MENA as we assess they opportunities for growth and investment for the next few years. Our research helps define these key future trends as they exist in Asia today.” By fLEXI tEAM


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