Pearl Research prophesizes further expansion in the Taiwan online game business.
Research and consulting firm Pearl Research has written Online Games Market in Taiwan, a report that details the expected growth of the Taiwanese online gaming market for 2007 to over $300 million. Pearl Research Managing Director Allison Luong commented to BusinessWeek that during an "extremely robust" 2006, "two of the largest game operators in Taiwan combined achieved more than 25% year-over-year revenue growth."
Various reasons for the expected growth explosion are noted in the paper, including:
- Culturally relevant game content.
- Low subscription costs ($12-15 per month).
- An increasing Internet penetration throughout the country.
- Casual games represent more than 35 percent of the online gaming market.
- An increase in free-to-play online games that earn revenue through microtransactions.
Luong discussed the continuing trend of hardcore PC gamers spreading their time among more mainstream titles. "Casual games are growing at a faster pace due to the popularity of the content and its appeal to a wide audience. Many MMORPG gamers also play these advanced casual games due to the ability to consume 'bite-sized' entertainment."
"Console hardware sales have always been relatively robust in Asia; however, software sales have been adversely affected by piracy. Still, countries like Hong Kong can have very high rates of Xbox Live adoption," Luong stated in describing the console market throughout Asia. "One of the drivers is that countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea have extremely high rates of broadband penetration in addition to avid gamer populations. There is progress with the growth of online gaming on the consoles but it will take time for console hardware penetration rates to reach critical mass levels."