Singapore gamers are homebodies who prefer playing RPG titles on PC: GameStart survey

If you're proud to call yourself a gamer and live here, it's statistically likely that you're one of the many Singaporeans who may still be playing Skyrim on a beast of a PC desktop. With dozens of mods installed, of course. 

With just a few days to go till their sixth (and sadly, final) convention, GameStart Asia released its inaugural gaming survey today (Oct 9), revealing quite a bit on the habits and behaviour of gamers in Singapore and its neighbouring countries. The results were collated from an online survey with 1,897 respondents from across Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Philippines. 

"GameStart began five years ago to create an event that gamers in Singapore and this region would want to attend. At a point when there were scant insights on the local and regional gaming scene, the success of our first edition proved that there is an active gaming community," explained Elicia Lee, GameStart Asia's founder and Managing Director of gaming event organiser Eliphant. 

Unlike Cartman from that World of Warcraft episode on South Park, here's a snapshot of what the typical Singaporean gamer looks like: a proud member of the PC Master Race who'd rather play together with friends at home with a cup of non-carbonated beverage as refreshment. 

The survey found out that 89.7 per cent of Singaporean gamers prefer playing within the comforts of their own home, with nearly half (53.6 per cent) of the respondents gaming on the PC. Despite the increasing prevalence of mobile gaming, smartphones are the preferred platform of choice for only 27.7 per cent of the Singaporean sample. But it's clear that we're all not that picky — 80 per cent of the respondents play games on at least two different platforms. Still, preferably desktops over consoles. 

PHOTO: AsiaOne / Ilyas Sholihyn

In terms of the types of titles we play, the top genre belongs to role-playing games, followed by first-person shooters and simulators. 

Fortunately for the economy, only 24.5 per cent of Singaporeans are massive gamers who put in over 30 hours a week horsing around in digital worlds. 42 per cent of people play for more than 20 hours a week (accurate!), while 32.4 per cent game for no more than 10 hours in the same period. 

Interestingly, Singaporean aren't fans of fizzy drinks while deep in gameplay. Unlike their overseas peers, 79 per cent of local gamers prefer non-carbonated drinks like various teas and plain water. The Health Promotion Board should be chuffed to know that. 

TABLE: GameStart Asia

When we're talking about the entire region, however, we're all pretty big investors in video games. On average three in four gamers (71.9 per cent) spent up to $500 a year, among which more than half fork out at least $100 annually. 

Like Singaporeans, most respondents (80.8 per cent) from across Southeast Asia prefer gaming at home, while the rest play in cybercafes, arcades, or (gasp) on the move. They're still playing together with friends though — 60 per cent favour multiplayer experiences. 

Esports is often said to be huge, but according to the survey, Southeast Asia loves role-playing games more than first-person shooters (CS: Go, Call of Duty, etc.), Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (Dota 2, League of Legends, etc), and fighting games (Street Fighter, Tekken, etc). 

PHOTO: AsiaOne / Ilyas Sholihyn

In terms of content consumption, YouTube remains the most potent avenue to seek out gaming content (59.8 per cent), followed by social media (22.6 per cent). Interestingly enough, live-streaming platform Twitch doesn't have that much of an impact in Southeast Asia, with only 11.9 per cent of gamers using it. 

In terms of snack consumption, gamers in the Philippines and Malaysia will probably need to hydrate correctly because they prefer carbonated drinks. But in general, players in the region pretty much load up on standard gamer fuel: potato chips, biscuits, and chocolates. 

TABLE: GameStart Asia

"Today, with red hot interest to understand the world's fastest-growing games market, we see our role in the industry evolving," concluded Lee. 

"The survey aims to shed light on what matters to these culturally diverse communities brought together by the passion for gaming, and better equip brands with the insights to engage meaningfully with them."