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Hobbies and Pastimes: Gaming Habits among Malaysians

In Malaysia, gaming has taken over many people’s free time. Worldwide, Asia is seen as the leader in video gaming, both for fun and competitively. However, the region is often lacking in allowing gambling games. Malaysia is no exception, on both fronts, so here’s an overview of where things stand.

Malaysian Gaming Habits

There are a few notable trends and popular genres within Malaysia’s gaming scene:

Gambling Laws

Gambling has been ruled illegal as Malaysia is a Muslim-majority nation, and there are hefty fines that are set to be paid if you are caught playing at illegal betting platforms. That’s why many casino apps to play with real money that are popular in Malaysia are based overseas, as these platforms are not covered by current Malaysian laws. As we’ll soon find out, mobile gaming is very popular in Malaysia, and these apps are no exception. As with many parts of Asia, popular games include baccarat and slots.

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The Malaysian government has proposed changes to help with the outdated laws and set up new legislation that would be essential to online gambling technology. 

Choosing Gaming Platforms

Consoles such as Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo are popular among Malaysians. Smartphones have paved the way for mobile gaming apps for those people who do not have access to a traditional platform, while other people who have PCs and are interested in high-performance computers are playing games on these. 

The type of platform used is based on the person’s age and which is most convenient for the time they choose to play. However, online games are popular across all age groups. 73% of people up to the age of 24 play, and that figure is 64% for those aged 25 to 34. Even 28% of those aged over 55 reported playing games online.

The Popular Game Genres 

Several genres and titles stand out among the favorites of Malaysians. The “Grand Theft Auto” series is popular in the action and adventure category, and other games that require role-playing, such as “Final Fantasy” and “The Witcher”, are also popular here. A competitive gaming culture has been on the rise, with games such as “Dota 2” and “League of Legends”, as they allow for a multiplayer online battlefield. 

Competitive and Esports Gaming

In Malaysia, Esports has seen a significant rise with numerous tournaments and events that have been taking place. 

Malaysians compete in competitive gaming by setting up teams representing their country in international competitions. Some of the best-known teams include SEM9 (who play various games) and Team Malaysia, a former Dota 2 team, now disbanded. 

There are also Esports organizations and gaming cafes that provide a platform for these gamers to compete, showcase their skills and connect with their peers.    

The Impact on Malaysian Society 

Malaysia is Asia’s fastest-growing gaming industry. It has become a gaming hub, focusing on competitive gaming and esports. These present opportunities for digital marketers, as the demand for gaming products and services has increased by approximately 10.7% over the last 10 years. Several factors have contributed to the growth rate of the industry:   

  • Economic development: Disposable income has risen as the gaming industry grows, and consumers spend more on gaming products and services. 
  • Technological advancements: With technological advancements and high-speed internet, Malaysians now have different devices and platforms to enjoy their games. 
  • Changed consumer behavior: Since gaming has become popular in Malaysia, people choose this as a pastime or hobby over watching TV and going to the cinema. 
  • Local game company opportunities: Growth in the industry has led to local game developers and publishers within Malaysia, giving Malaysians a product that is tailored to their experiences. 
  • Government support: There are various initiatives that the Malaysian government has started to help the video game industry develop. 

What are the Social Aspects of Gaming? 

For Malaysians, gaming has become a social activity. Online games that allow for multiplayer serve as a platform for people to play with friends and alongside strangers to build a community of gamers.  Gaming cafes also serve as hubs for fellow gamers to get together and host gaming sessions live while growing the gaming community online and in-person. 

About Author

Active traveller with a love for Asian food and Japanese anime.

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