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Gaming in the Philippines: From Pastime to Mainstream Entertainment

Gaming has become a global phenomenon, with millions of people of all ages and backgrounds playing on different platforms. From console to mobile to PC games, there’s endless entertainment to be had. Additionally, gaming has grown from a solo experience into a way of socializing, learning, and competing.

In the Philippines, the gaming industry has grown significantly in recent years with the increasing popularity of online and mobile gaming and a rapid expansion of the esports scene. As of this writing, there are over 43 million active Filipino players, a 12.9% yearly increase since 2017.

It is clear that gaming has become a mainstream activity, with nearly everyone having played a video game at some point in their lives. The accessibility and variety available have made it possible for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy video games. It’s no longer just a niche hobby, but a shared experience that brings people together. From children to seniors, gaming has become a universal pastime that transcends age and culture.

Online gaming has become a staple in Filipino culture, with popular genres including massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), first-person shooter games (FPS), and real-time strategy games (RTS). Call of Duty, League of Legends, Dota, and Valorant are just a few of the most popular franchises that Filipinos enjoy on a daily basis. However, gaming devices such as consoles being priced at $200-500 and PCs being $500-2000 might be a deal-breaker for those who don’t have the budget. Luckily, the PCs in everyone’s pockets are very capable gaming devices.

Gaming for all

Mobile gaming continues to be a highly accessible avenue for gamers around the world, especially for markets like the Philippines. By 2022, over 84.67 million Filipinos have their own smartphone devices. By the end of 2023, mobile gaming revenues are expected to reach $172.10 billion. Safe to say that the mobile market plays a significant part in the gaming economy and that it is not going away anytime soon.  

Esports, or competitive video gaming at a professional level, has also seen growth in the Philippines. The country is home to professional esports teams and leagues in popular games such as Dota 2, League of Legends, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Call of Duty Mobile.

The idea that earning money off of playing video games might be questionable for some. But the reality is that it’s actually one of the fast-growing markets in terms of profitability. The global esports market is projected to grow from $1.44 billion in 2022 to $5.48 billion by 2029. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 21%. We’ve already seen local organizations such as Nexplay, Blacklist International, and Omega Esports be globally recognized organizations that are able to compete against some of the best in the world.

Gaming is not just a hobby anymore. It has become a legitimate career path for not only players but businesses as well. For players, there are now opportunities to compete professionally with the support of sponsors and organizations. The rise of esports has also created a need for coaches, managers, and analysts. For content creators, there are opportunities to create and share gaming-related content on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. On the business side, companies can sponsor teams, tournaments, and events, which creates a lot of opportunities for businesses to tap into the growing gaming market in the Philippines.

More than just players

The games industry in the Philippines has attracted the attention of major gaming companies, which have set up operations in the country due to the abundance of skilled workers with a strong understanding of English and a passion for gaming. This has created job opportunities for Filipinos in fields such as game testing, customer support, and game development.

Ubisoft, one of the biggest developers in the world currently has its own office in Santa Rosa. Given that they’re constantly awarded as one of the top employers in the country, it’s safe to assume that local game development is on the rise.

In comparison to the top gaming countries in the world such as China, the United States, Japan, and Korea, the Philippines still has a long way to go in terms of revenue, esports presence, and local game development. But that doesn’t mean that Pinoys aren’t a force to be reckoned with anymore. A strong English-speaking workforce, millions of dedicated fans, and a thriving mobile gaming market have made the Philippines a strong player in the global gaming landscape.

M2 is a communications agency and Public Relations firm in the Philippines that specializes in business, technology, and lifestyle communication. We offer a range of PR services including reputation management, media relations, social media marketing, and influencer management. Learn more about our work on our Case Studies page.

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