Parliament Sitting on 2 August 2022

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

45. Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: asked the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how has Singapore's e-sports scene grown during the COVID-19 pandemic; and (b) whether the Ministry can provide an update on whether the industry has managed to fill the estimated 2,700 info-communications and media professionals to support the games sector, which was identified in IMDA’s Annual Survey on Infocomm Media Manpower 2019.

Answer:

1. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of esports globally, with its worldwide audience expected to grow +8.7% year on year, crossing 500 million in 2022.

2. Southeast Asia is a key growth market for esports. Singapore recently hosted esports tournaments such as Garena’s Free Fire World Series, which saw record viewership across multiple online platforms. As digital experiences expand in breadth and scope, esports will likely grow in popularity.

3. Esports is part of a vibrant games sector in Singapore, which has created diverse job opportunities over the years. Singapore is home to game developers and publishers, including major game studios like Bandai Namco and homegrown Mighty Bear Games, which in turn create good jobs in content creation, product management, UI/UX design, and business development.

4. IMDA’s Annual Survey on Infocomm Media Manpower provides an indicative sense of manpower demand based on companies’ expectations of growth. This could be influenced by business sentiments and market conditions, among other factors. The 2,700 figure is thus not a target. Actual job creation will also likely differ.

5. In 2021, nearly 2,000 people were employed in the games sector. As is generally the case with the tech sector worldwide, there is still a shortage of skilled talent.

6. The Government will continue to look into ways to support growth in this dynamic space, including by enabling more jobs for Singaporeans, and training them with relevant skills to take on these emerging opportunities.

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