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Niko Partners: Games with metaverse elements will be most profitable short term

Cloud gaming predicted to reach 500 million in Asia by 2025
Niko Partners: Games with metaverse elements will be most profitable short term

Consulting and market research firm Niko Partners has released a new Asia-focused report, The Metaverse and Beyond: Future Trends of Gaming in Asia.

In the report trends relating to cloud gaming, Web3, the metaverse, extended reality, and virtual influencers are covered and explored, specifically within the Asian market.

Predicting popularity

Niko Partners’ report suggests that there is still room to grow for cloud games in Asia, especially as the prominence of 5G mobile devices rises – which governments in Asia are working with telecos to achieve.

According to Niko’s own research, subscription services for cloud games will be most popular in Asia by 2025 and the addressable market is set to reach 500 million.

With a shift from games-as-a-service to games-as-a-platform, the metaverse grew in popularity in Asia for a similar reason to the West: due to social gaming through the pandemic. However, unlike its projected growth for cloud gaming, Niko suggests metaverse elements mostly have a short-term profit value when it comes to integration in games.

In Asia, XR technology remains in the early phases – behind the likes of AR as seen in Pokémon Go which recently reached $6 billion in revenue. Virtual reality’s popularity has been growing overall, with more than 40 per cent of people in a survey across Japan, Korea, Singapore and Chinese Taipei showing interest in buying a VR device.

Like the West, Asia also has streamers, entertainers and brand ambassadors. Japan is a "major leader" in the virtual influencers sphere, Niko reports, with virtual characters increasing in popularity. Asia overall is seeing growing use of AI and virtual human technology to create entirely digital celebrity figures.

"Many companies and investors say they are developing toward NFTs in games and blockchain games, or that their games embrace the metaverse," said Niko Partners founder and president Lisa Hanson. "It is important to examine the actual and current stage of implementation of these critical themes in Asia and MENA as we assess they opportunities for growth and investment for the next few years."

Niko Partners' full report includes case studies, leading companies, business models and more.

Another Niko Partners report released earlier this month together with Gamescom Asia, delving into the peculiarities of the Southeast Asian market.