Riot Games to tap into country's promising gaming market

Riot Games to tap into country's promising gaming market

Riot Games, the US-based video game developer, publisher and e-sports tournament organiser, is making an aggressive move to capitalise on Thailand's gaming market, which is the company's third-largest in Asia-Pacific based on users and the second-largest for viewership of e-sports in the region.

"We see tonnes of potential in the Thai gaming market in terms of users and time spent on games," said Jon Lor, Thailand country manager of Riot Games.

The company established a local office early this year as part of its growth strategy in Southeast Asia.

Riot Games began by self-publishing League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics across Southeast Asia in January 2023 after ending its partnership with the leading online games developer and publisher Garena.

Overall, the gaming sector in Thailand has 34 million gamers, led by mobile devices and followed by PCs.

"We are still beginning our business here by focusing on our game publishing capability to bring games to the market and our goal within the next three years is to have full end-to-end business capability, including the potential of the game development," said Mr Lor.

"We aim to double or triple our business locally within 12-24 months."

The company has game development teams based in the US, Shanghai and Singapore.

"Our priority is the gamer experience, attracting them to engage in games for furthur monetisation," he said.

The company also introduced a Thailand-inspired map entitled "Drift: Loy Thara" in its Valorant game. Marking a significant milestone, this map seamlessly integrates a Thai cultural floating market setting, a festival, food and architecture to appeal to Thai gamers. It seleted Thailand as the first country in Southeast Asia to have Thai elements included within the map in the game as part of its "hyper localisation" strategy, which helps promote Thailand's soft power policy.

Over the long term, the company also plans to have local game development in Thailand.

Valorant is a 5v5 character-based tactical FPS (first-person shooter) game where precise gunplay meets unique agent abilities. Valorant has gained a significant level of popularity among Thai gamers, securing one of the top 3 spots for player engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

"By infusing Thailand's rich culture and architecture into our game map, we aim to elevate the gaming experience globally," Mr Lor, said. "This also helps to expose a Thai resonance for global gamers as part of the country's soft power."

This also reflects the firm's hyper localisation strategy, underscoring its commitment to crafting a game that resonates with Thai players and communicates with local communities in online and offline events.

He added that games still represent the firm's major source of revenue, complemeted by eSports, while its entertainment business also has huge potential in Thailand. He added that the firm will work more with local music artists as well as lifestyle brands to support its businesses.

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