The Philippine Gaming Industry

The Philippine online gaming market is experiencing spectacular growth, reaching US$10 million and 350,000 subscribers in 2004 (up from $3 million and 60,000 subscribers in 2003), according to International Data Corp. With an estimated 40% annual increase in subscribers, online gaming has ceased to be just an ordinary pastime or amusement, it has become the most dynamic segment of the entertainment software industry in the Philippines. Opportunities abound for U.S. online game content developers, broadband service providers, and suppliers of servers, switches, new and refurbished PCs, and gaming and PC accessories.
At the end of 2004, PC penetration in the Philippines stood at 1.82%, or 1.53 million PCs for a population of 84 million, according to data from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and key industry players. Five million people are estimated to have Internet access through PCs at home, schools, corporate offices and Internet cafés. 80% of Internet users still access the netthrough dial-up connections.
As of 2004, there were approximately 300 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and ISP Value-Added Resellers (VARs) registered with the NTC. 10 to 15 of these are major players, including the large telecommunications operators. ISP market leaders are Infocomm, a subsidiary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT); GlobeNet, under Globe Telecom; Pacific Internet, a Singapore-based ISP; Mosaic Communications and Tridel Technologies.

As shown below, online gaming market growth is expected to accelerate in coming years. In January 2003 the first commercial online game was released, but real growth has been and will continue to be driven by massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), the first of which was released in September 2003.
Today, MMORPGs dominate the industry. MMORPGS are “sprawling virtual worlds in which players interact with fellow players by controlling one or more...