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Gaming Industry in the Philippines: Challenges & Opportunities

Gaming is one of the biggest players in the entertainment industry. Millions of individuals around the world enjoy video games as a form of leisure, education, or even as a professional career. In the Philippines, it’s no different and yet there are still challenges that need to be addressed to fully realize the potential of the industry. There are several challenges that the gaming industry in the Philippines is facing, but there are also opportunities that can help level it up to something bigger than it already is. 

Challenges for the Gaming Industry in the Philippines:

  1. Stigma around Gaming. The stigma around gaming as a waste of time and a children’s hobby has been holding back the industry from a household all the way to an institutional level. This is due to the traditional belief that gaming is a form of entertainment that is not productive and can harm the development of young minds. This has resulted in a lack of institutional support and funding for the industry. In addition, it has also led to a limited understanding of the gaming industry’s potential to create job opportunities and boost economic growth. It’s easy to see gaming as a distraction and so the growth stops from there. 
  1. Limited Budget. Gaming is not a cheap hobby. The limited budget to purchase gaming hardware whether it be smartphones, consoles, or PCs is a common issue especially when technology keeps improving and in turn, getting more expensive. Additionally, video games aren’t cheap as well, ranging from $60 to $70 for AAA releases. This has made it difficult for game developers to reach a wider audience, especially those in lower-income brackets. While the free-to-play model has been gaining traction, it’s not a sustainable practice for all game releases. It also comes with its own flaws such as predatory microtransactions and an abundance of hackers who ruin the online experience. 
  1. Lack of Institutional Support. While gaming has become a significant industry globally, the Philippine government does not fully recognize it yet. This results in a lack of institutional support and funding from the government for gaming companies, which could result in the industry being stifled before it can fully take off. Local gaming organizations and esports teams also struggle with acquiring sponsorship deals compared to regular online influencers since the latter is seen as more of a safer bet. As big as the gaming industry is, somehow it’s still seen as a niche concept in the Philippines. 

Opportunities for the Gaming Industry in the Philippines:

  1. Boosting the economy. The gaming industry has the potential to boost the economy in the Philippines. The industry can create job opportunities in game development, game design, animation, and many other related fields. It can also attract foreign investment and increase exports of games and related products, which can generate revenue for the country. The industry can also work to improve relationships with the government and advocate for more support. This may involve lobbying for tax incentives and other forms of financial support, as well as promoting the economic benefits of the gaming industry to the country.
  1. Developing creativity. The gaming industry is an excellent medium for encouraging creativity. Game development is a collaborative process that requires a team of people to work together to create a unique and entertaining product. Much like how CD Projekt Red is with The Witcher franchise or how Capcom is with their titles, the Philippines has a rich and historic culture to pull inspiration for unique game concepts. The industry can also encourage creativity among players, who can use the games they play to express their creativity and develop their own unique content. Halo Infinite’s map editor and Minecraft’s infinite sandbox have already enabled some very impressive community creations. 
  1. Esports. Professional gaming is a rapidly growing industry worldwide, and the Philippines has the potential to become a regional hub for esports. The country has a passionate and talented gaming community, and with the right infrastructure and support, it could become a significant player in the global esports scene. Tournament events can attract large audiences, generate revenue through ticket and merchandise sales, and promote the country’s image as a destination for gaming and esports. 

Addressing the challenges and leveraging these opportunities can help the gaming industry in the Philippines reach its full potential. With the right support from both the government and private sector, gaming can become a thriving and sustainable industry in the Philippines.

M2 is a communications agency in the Philippines that specializes in business, technology, and lifestyle communications. We offer a range of PR advisory and reputation management services for brands to tell meaningful stories and engage their target audiences. Find out more about our work through our case studies page.

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