Young Filipino Internet Gamer Report 2007 and Glimpse for 2008Janette Toral
As part of our year-ender report, we are releasing a series of reports and our forecast for 2008 based on the face-to-face research that I’ve conducted last March to June 2007. This research undertaking shall be done again in the summer of 2008 to monitor changes in the market segment.
Note that this report contains data gathered as-is. Readers who are into market data analysis are encouraged to look into other reports and make their comparison.
(Snippet first published through this article – Embracing the youth gaming community)
FROM March to June 2007, I conducted a survey in Metro Manila and nearby provinces interviewing 375 respondents, mostly in Internet cafes. Here are the findings:
- 75 percent of respondents were online gamers. As I’ve been doing Internet research for the past seven years, this is the first time I felt the impact of gaming on the Filipino Internet user, especially for the age group of 25-years-old and below where 93% of Internet gamers were found. 73% of respondents were men and nearly half or 48% belong to the 13 to 17 years old age group. 19% interviewed were under 13 years old.
- Of the online gamers, 32% of respondents cited that research is the primary reason why they go online. This is followed by games at 21%. They play games for fun, recreation, and meet friends.
- Outside of gaming, these young people spend time updating with friends online, chat, do research, and watch videos.
- One major influence, I observe, is the introduction of free-to-play gaming model by companies such as IP E-Games. This is where a player does not have to purchase credits just to be able to play a game. This way, even the 33% who have less than 100 pesos allowance per week can manage to squeeze an hour or two of gaming per week.
- 54% have computers at home. However, 82% of respondents still finds time to go the Internet cafe. This is where 74% spend their time to play games while only 29% gets to do it at home.
- Gaming has evolved into a social activity as 66% of gamers have their friends as companions whenever they play. Friends are also the primary influencer for gamers to try out a new game.
- With limited resources and parental control on Internet use, an average young Filipino Internet gamer spends an average of 10 hours of Internet access per week.
- 73% owns a mobile phone with Nokia having the dominating brand share at 77%. Least expected, Globe Telecom is the popular telecommunications provider at 44%.
- RAN Online is the most dominant game being played by young Filipino Internet Users with a share of 40 percent from those we surveyed. This is followed by O2Jam (24%), Ragnarok (18%), Audition (14.3%), and Warcraft DOTA (13.9%). Counterstrike, Flyff, and Tantra still has its own following as of survey time.
- Filipinos’ love for music and even dancing, especially among the young, is perhaps the reason that O2Jam and Audition have gained fame this year.
- Last year, we cited the popularity of Ragnarok in our 2006 top websites for the gaming segment. In this year’s survey, I note a growing number of players who are tapping private servers based overseas just to be able to play the game for free. I guess this reflects the reality that games also have product life-cycles where after reaching a peak point, it goes down and maintain a loyal set of players — which is a smaller percentage of its original player population. Being able to introduce new and innovative games as well as re-inventing the business model is a must for continuity. Level Up! Games” introduction of a free gaming server lately is very much welcome and will surely have an impact on our 2008 survey.
- Warcraft DOTA is also a popular game. I’m sure that this game will reach greater potential in the country once it gets properly represented (or is it already?). Despite not having a solid promotion group, Internet café-organized events for this game attracts attention. Of the online gamers, 28% have joined gaming events where DOTA is the most popular.
- As attaining a high level or rank is important for gamers, 40% allow other persons to play their game characters.
- 60% of respondents buy game cards every month. Although what I wasn”t able to make clear in this survey is if this is something they have taken from their allowance or bought for them by someone else.
- With brand market spending invested by online game companies, I added in this survey a question if they are aware of the game”s publisher. E-Games has 47% awareness for RAN Online, 70% for O2Jam, and 60% for Audition. 43% recognize Level-Up as publisher of Ragnarok. 31% recognize Blizzard as publisher of DOTA.
- A lot has been said on the effect of gaming in one”s study and productivity. 29% of respondents admitted that playing online games has affected their productivity.
Glimpse of 2008
I think the popularity of games by IP E-Games was heavily influenced by the novelty of free gaming. Whether this will still be true in the summer of 2008 remains to be seen. With new games like Perfect World, Granado Espada, and casual games booming in social networks such as Warbook in Facebook, 2008 will surely present interesting results reflecting the Philippines dynamic gaming industry.