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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Countries Most Interested in Web3 Gaming (2021-2023)

4.3 | by Lim Yu Qian

Key Markets for Web3 Gaming: Top Countries & Regions

The key markets for web3 gaming or GameFi are the Philippines, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – these 9 countries have maintained their ranking among the top 15 most interested in web3 gaming-related search terms, for 3 consecutive years from 2021 to 2023.

The Southeast Asia region has been a key market for GameFi, with Southeast Asian countries dominating the global top 15 rankings in past years. In 2021, there were 5 Southeast Asian representatives among the top 15 countries most interested in web3 gaming, with Indonesia tying in at #15 alongside South Asia’s India. 

This increased to 7 Southeast Asian countries in 2022, but only Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam have continued to make the top 15 web3 gaming country ranking in 2023.

The most consistent interest in GameFi has been from the East Asia region. South Korea, Hong Kong and China maintained their positions as the most interested countries in web3 gaming, while other countries in the region did not enter the top 15 ranking.

South Asia is another key regional market for web3 gaming, albeit with less consistency. There were 3 South Asian representatives in the top 15 countries most interested in web3 gaming in 2021, which fell to 1 country in 2022, before increasing to 4 in 2023. Pakistan is the only South Asian country that has continued to have the strongest interest in web3 gaming.

Top Web3 Gaming Countries in 2023

The Philippines continues to be the country with the greatest interest in web3 gaming in 2023 so far, marking 3 consecutive years as the top web3 gaming country in the world. Countries with the next highest interest in web3 gaming were Nigeria, Pakistan and Singapore, which all saw improvements in their rankings this year. 

South Korea also moved up the ranking to become the 6th most interested country in web3 gaming in 2023 to date. South Korea finally surpassed East Asian neighbors Hong Kong and China, on the back of its steadily increasing interest in GameFi over the years.

Vietnam, China and UAE are the only countries that experienced a decrease in rankings, as their search interest in web3 gaming-related terms declined. China experienced the largest drop, from the 2nd most interested country in web3 gaming in 2021 and 2022, to the 9th position in 2023 to date.

The Netherlands emerged as the leading web3 gaming country in Europe this year. Netherlands is also the only European country to have made the top 15 web3 gaming country rankings, after its search interest more than doubled in 2023, compared to the previous two years.

Including the Netherlands, there were 4 newcomers to the top 15 countries most interested in web3 gaming in 2023. For the first time, Kenya, Lebanon and Sri Lanka have emerged as leading web3 gaming countries. All 4 new entrants managed to outrank UAE, even though the Middle Eastern nation has ranked for 3 consecutive years among the 15 countries most interested in web3 gaming.

Meanwhile, South Asia’s Nepal and India regained their position among the top 15 web3 gaming countries, after falling out of the rankings last year.

How have Countries’ Interest in Web3 Gaming Changed?

Among the countries where web3 gaming is most popular, the relative level of interest has mostly fluctuated from 2021 to 2023. Out of the 23 countries that have ranked at least once in the top 15 web3 gaming countries, only 4 countries saw steady year-on-year growth in GameFi interest: Pakistan, South Korea, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

4 other countries instead saw a yearly decline in web3 gaming interest, namely Singapore, China, Thailand and Venezuela. As a result of the falling interest in GameFi, Thailand dropped out of the top 15 web3 gaming country rankings in 2023, while Venezuela dropped out after 2021. 

There were 6 countries where GameFi interest also decreased from 2021 to 2022, amid the shift from bull to bear market. These countries’ interest in GameFi then recovered in 2023. The 2023 rebound in web3 gaming interest surpassed 2021 levels for the Netherlands, Lebanon, Nepal and India, whereas Australia’s interest returned to the same level. 

On the other hand, the Philippines only saw a slight recovery in GameFi interest in 2023, and was unable to recapture the country’s play to earn hype in 2021. 

The remaining 9 countries had an increased interest towards web3 gaming in 2022 despite the bear market, but have been unable to maintain the same level of relative interest in 2023. Notably, Russia, Laos and Malaysia broke into the 2022 rankings for the top 15 web3 gaming countries, but were unable to keep their positions in 2023.

Methodology

The study examined relative search popularity by locations from Google Trends data, for a non-exhaustive list of 7 English search terms related to web3 gaming, namely: play to earn, P2E, GameFi, play and earn, blockchain game, crypto game, NFT game. Terms with insufficient data were excluded. Plurals and present participle versions were also excluded due to similar results.

The location setting was ‘Worldwide’, while the default options were left for the remaining parameters ‘All categories’ and ‘Web Search’.

The numbers represent relative search popularity compared across locations, for a selected term and time. A value of 100 indicates maximum popularity as a proportion of total searches and a value of 50 indicates half the popularity, while a score of 0 means there was insufficient search interest data. The locations were then ranked by their ‘Total Search Score’, which was obtained by adding up the search interest for the four terms.

The study notes that the most widely used search engines for all locations may not be Google.


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Curious to find out more about our previous research studies? Check out this one we did on the top web3 vs web2 games in 2023.

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Lim Yu Qian
Lim Yu Qian

Yuqian is a cryptocurrency writer and marketer who specializes in mainstream cryptocurrency insights. She's especially fascinated by the philosophical and socioeconomic aspects of crypto and also goes by the name of Q. She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honors from the National University of Singapore. Follow the author on Twitter @solosbrqt

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