Video gaming in Thailand

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Video gaming is a rising industry in Thailand. The country is currently the 23rd largest video games market in the world, with a revenue of $338 million in 2015, the highest of Southeast Asia.[1]

Growth[edit]

Vlad Micu of VGVisionary and WindowsPhoneFans.com has stated in 2012 that Thailand's video game industry is on the rise, mostly through the increase in various app stores and a growing interest from foreign investors in Thai game development talent. Noting that some Thai games are slowly getting a foothold in the international market, Micu stated that "more and more Thai game studios are being empowered to produce quality content for a global audience."[2] In November 2015, Sony Corp began producing premium smartphones in Thailand, the company's first overseas mobile phone plant in two decades. Sony aims to produce 600,000 to 700,000 premium smartphones in the first year.[3]

In 2015, both Newzoo and Niko Partners have stated to expect a massive growth in revenue of video games in Thailand and other Southeast Asia countries in following years.[1][4]

Companies[edit]

Thailand is home of AsiaSoft, one of the most successful gaming company in Southeast Asia. In the late 1990s, the company aimed to bring down prices of video games in Thailand while taking measures to ensure video games weren't "leaked" to other regions, in order to combat video game piracy. As the market changed and online gaming became a large market in Southeast Asia, AsiaSoft started published massive multiplayer online role-playing games in the country, such as Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft. In 2004, the company expanded to Singapore and by 2014, the company had six offices in different countries.[5]

Sanuk Games started to develop video games for home consoles, handheld and mobile devices in 2003. Headquartered in Bangkok, the company has a publishing office in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.[6]

Controversies[edit]

In 2008, copies of the already controversial Grand Theft Auto IV were mass recalled in Thailand after an 18-year-old high school student stabbed a cab driver to death. The 18-year-old confessed to stealing the taxi and said he killed the 54-year-old driver after he fought back, later stating that "killing seemed easy in the game." Subsequently, the game was banned in Thailand.[7][8]

After the 2014 Thai coup d'état, Thailand’s military junta the National Council for Peace and Order banned Bulgarian video game Tropico 5, in which players can act out the role of a dictator in an island state. According to Nonglak Sahawattanapong, sales manager of New Era Thailand, "some parts of stories within the game affect Thailand's situation," and though Sahawattanapong was "disappointed" by the decision, the company complied with the ban.[9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Brightman, James (2015-10-15). "China now leads the world in game revenues - Newzoo". Newzoo's Top 100 Countries by Game Revenues. Gamesindustry.biz.
  2. ^ Micu, Vlad (2012-08-13). "6 Games Made By Thai Game Studios You Need To Try". Techasia.
  3. ^ Reuters (2015-11-06). "Sony starts making premium smartphones in Thailand". Tech2.
  4. ^ Gaudiosi, John (2015-02-05). "In search of growth, video game companies hungrily eye Southeast Asia". Fortune.
  5. ^ Lee, Mary-anne (2014-11-06). "How Asiasoft went from moving educational games to being one of SEA's largest publishers". TechinAsia.
  6. ^ "About Us". Sanuk Games.
  7. ^ "Grand Theft Auto blamed over Thai taxi driver murder". The Telegraph. 2008-08-04.
  8. ^ Reed, Jim (2008-08-04). "Thailand bans Grand Theft Auto IV". BBC News.
  9. ^ Fourquet, Laure (2014-08-05). "Tropico 5 video game banned in Thailand". The Independent.
  10. ^ Shreier, Jason (2014-08-04). "Military-Ruled Thailand Bans Game About Military Rule". Kotaku.