Game console market in Pakistan. How the other half game

An interesting video on gaming markets in Pakistan.

Lots of piracy, but interesting to see.


My parents watch Pakistani TV and there are a ton of cell carrier and cell phone ads, and these ads are starting to promote Gamepass streaming.

With game prices being extremely high, piracy is prevalent as mentioned in the video. Gamepass in that market will be extremely interesting. One aspect being the streaming to phones, whether network infrastructure is good enough for it, and the other being console sales.

I’ll have to talk to some ofmy friends and see if their relatives use Netflix or other streaming services there and at what price.

One thing the video didn’t cover is the arcade scene, which is pretty active still. I believe the Tekken 7 champ from a year or two ago was from Pakistan and he just played in arcades there.


That is why the gamepass message is so strong.

I really hope they sell the PC Gamepass message and upgrade the overall gamepass store experience. (Which they seem to be doing according to WC.)

Not sure about Xcloud there yet.


Game prices aren’t the only reason piracy is rampant imo, there’d been a lot of social stigma around gaming that our generation grew up with (I’m late 90s born Indian but I figure Pakistan faces the same issue).

I’ve seen so few scenarios of parents actually buying video games for their kids in my life, even though kids kept getting a lot of other expensive shit.

It’s largely always been kids talking to one another and finding out about games and getting access to them via different means cuz it was simply very difficult to convince anyone to actually buy us games, not just because of the price but because gaming itself was looked down upon culturally.

This kind of forced a lot of us growing up to find other avenues of playing video games outside our homes, and that happened at “cybers” where all you had to pay for was the time you got a PC for, and games like Vice City dominated the zeitgeist. In its own way, that was our Arcade era.

Slowly and surely, things have gotten better, and by the time we grew up, the next generation of kids were exposed to a whole new paradigm of games which were completely removed from any of these issues - as you guessed it, the paradigm of free to play, so that’s PUBG, that’s Fortnite, COD that’s all the other mobile games. So they don’t even contend with the problems our generation did haha but I’m not complaining, it’s just the market right now.

If one game had to keep up the console market, I would guess FIFA is that.

All of this is why Gamepass PC and Cloud shall be the biggest disruptors in the market here if MS support it well and market it well.

Gabe’s quote about piracy might seem weird but it’s exactly true.

If games are getting pirated, the solution isn’t to add anti piracy stuff to the games but to provide a better service to the gamer than the pirates provide.

Gamepass does this on several levels. Although it’s still a very strong DRM, the business model of Gamepass eliminates a lot of issues with traditional retail.

You don’t need to tell your parents I want this specific game and it costs a fuck ton of money, just tell them “we have Netflix right? Well, it’s the same for video games, just pay this much every month and we get access to 100s of games with no additional cost” and watch subs skyrocket.


It’s always nice to hear background stories like this because I never really think of this sort of stuff and how Game Pass can affect countries differently. I remember Phil once saying that he found it interesting that in India they have some sort of timed gameplay if you watch a few ads or something along those lines.

I want Game Pass in places like this so people don’t have to go through the same sort of stuff you did when it comes to gaming. xCloud is going to be massive if they can just play on their phone they already have because I’m sure it’s probably easier to get a phone then a gaming console + tv and all that sort of stuff.

Like Gabe said you give people an easier way and legit way to access they will come in droves just look at Netflix, I used to pirate a lot but don’t anymore because of Netflix.


If a console comes out with “Sachin Tendulkar Cricket” they will sell millions of them.

lolol that’s perhaps already happened in the past maybe, and Sachin is no longer as present in Cricket conversation.

I’m surprised there is no officially licensed IPL game yet.

Yeah, why not. The IPL brings in mega money, so I would imagine they have a ton of marketing ideas. No reason a cricket game couldn’t be one of them.

Or if cricket isn’t the go, make a game about the most famous Bollywood action star lol

Phil was talking about some country in Africa.

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We need an Xboxera offshoot podcast with an Eastern (non Japan/Korea/Gulf) focus.

Microsoft just needs to improve the marketing of the game pass / xbox so that it can easily dominate in several countries. Here in Brazil, Microsoft dominated with the 360. Piracy helped to popularize the console. currently games costing R$ 350.00 practically a third of the minimum wage. Game Pass and Series S is the formula for success. I imagine that this situation must be similar in several countries with a complicated financial situation

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There is a reason the term “Video games” was considered wrong, btw, in India. That is because you had several illegal gambling outlets operate under the term ‘video games’ especially in the 80s and 90s. This was a safe term for these outlets to escape the police. You could find one or two on every street.

These jerks screwed up the phrase for everyone. :frowning_face:



But with India dual use is also important. Indians are frugal about such investments. That is why PC rules. Work and play on a PC is an easier sell.

Not sure about Pakistan. It looks as if arcades are popular there, so consoles might be an easier sell.

The more you think about South Asia, East Asia, South America and Africa - it looks as if you cannot have a ‘one size fits all’ solution. That is why Gamepass on console or PC or Xcloud is so brilliant.


Very off-topic but in my country it’s never called video games, it’s either computer games, data games or TV games.


Interesting. :+1:t4:

We started calling it the same - “TV/PC games” to explain to our parents.