Mintel: 76% of Thais Now Gaming for at Least an Hour Each Day, But the Face of Gamers is Changing Post-Pandemic

January 18, 2023

Gaming or Esports is picking up pace among Thai consumers, with over three-quarters (76%) of Thai consumers spending at least an hour a day gaming** and one in three (36%) playing for between two and four hours daily, according to new research* from global market intelligence expert Mintel. 

While young men still dominate gaming and Esports, lockdown encouraged a broader demographic of Thai consumers to get involved, and the habit has stuck. This creates new opportunities for brands to build relationships and engage consumers through new and exciting channels, such as gaming partnerships and gamified marketing. 

Older Thais Show the Biggest Gaming Increase

Though playtime has increased across all demographics, it is most pronounced in people aged 45 and over, with more than a third (37%) of older adults saying that their gaming time increased during the pandemic. According to Global Health Ageing, older adults play games to reduce stress, maintain mental sharpness, connect with others and have fun. 

Given their interest in gaming, brands across categories are encouraged to employ gamification elements in their products/services that offer rewards to drive engagement. Gaming and online activities offer a win-win solution for both parties: while online activities engage consumers in their services and products, they also ensure that brands’ messages and logos are registered in consumers’ consciousness.

Women Seek Stress Relief

When it comes to gender, brands should consider clear patterns emerging in female gamers. Mintel’s research shows that 7 in 10 (71%) Thai women play games to reduce stress. This is not surprising, given that Mintel’s Attitudes Towards Mental Health – Thai Consumer – 2022 research also showed that Thai women are more burned out than men. 

Games incorporating various colors and soothing sounds to aid relaxation are popular with consumers seeking stress relief.

Wellbeing Challenges and Opportunities

Stress relief is not the only wellbeing challenge driving more Thais to increase their gaming hours; three-quarters (75%) believe playing games is a way to connect with others. However, too much gaming poses health risks to players, with 17% of Thai consumers aged 18-44 reported experiencing health problems from doing so.

To mitigate these concerns, brands can introduce togetherness activities that expose consumers to greater creativity while strengthening bonds and relationships with family, friends and spouses. 

Wilasinee (Kaimook) Siriboonpipattana, Senior Lifestyle Research Analyst, Mintel Reports Thailand, said:

Gaming has seen an impressive increase in revenue and viewership during the global pandemic, as millions more people are stuck at home looking for new forms of entertainment. The gaming market was valued at 198.4 billion USD in 2021, with a massive 71% growth forecasted by 2027. This represents an opportunity that brands can’t ignore, especially with the gaming demographic becoming broader than ever.

“From a product innovation standpoint, brands can add extra elements and go beyond ‘just games’ to aid in the growth of gaming,  for example, through a collaboration with food and drink brands and offer functional health benefits. When it comes to consumer engagement, brands that sponsor or promote gaming/Esports will appeal to consumers and differentiate themselves from their competitors. This could be through advertising products in-game or creating gamified educational initiatives to assist consumers in gaining new skills. What’s most important is that brands target their key audience wisely, differentiating between women, older adults and young people, as consumers of different demographics play games for various purposes and on different occasions.”

Additional information on gaming and Esports consumer trends and interviews with the analyst are available upon request from the Mintel Press Office.

*1,500 adults aged 18+

**For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

  • Game/gaming refers to digital and non-digital games (e.g. board games) unless otherwise stated.
  • Esports is competitive video gaming at a professional level and organized format with a clear distinction between teams and players playing against each other.
  • Gaming content viewers are consumers aged 18+ who watch other people playing video games, including esports or video games, on Twitch or other game streaming channels.

Additional research on Thai consumer attitudes towards gaming and interviews with the analyst are available upon request from the Mintel Press Office. For those interested in purchasing the full report, please visit the Mintel Store.

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For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel’s team of global category analysts.

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