Offshore gaming operators (POGO) from China have turned out to be a godsend for Manila’s property developers struggling with a large inventory of office space.
Demand for office space from the offshore gaming industry surpassed the BPO for the first time last week, according to Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC), a major realtor in the Philippines.
“Demand from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) in Metro Manila reached 375,000 square meters for the first 9 months of the year, compared to BPO’s 294,000 sqm,” reported ABS-CBN News, citing a report from the real estate firm.
This is a relief for local realtors, as they were grappling with a large inventory of office space until July this year. The realtors had been able to lease out barely 199,000 square meters of office face in the first half of this year, a 45% decrease compared to the same period last year.
Reports say that more Chinese gaming operators are hunting for office space in Manila for the past two weeks.
Although gaming firms have created a large number of jobs and are the third biggest source of revenue for the government, China has recently urged the Philippines to act against them, accusing the operators of money-laundering.
Last week, Cambodia shut down several online gaming operators, accusing them of causing social disorder.
Therefore, Leechiu has urged property developers not to be swayed by the new-found demand for office space, warning that a potential crackdown on the operators in the Philippines might leave realtors in a crisis.
The real estate industry in Metro Manila has long been driven by the call center industry. But the industry is slowing down these days, It grew 5.1% in 2018 instead of the projected 8 percent, according to the Contact Centre Association of the Philippines (CCAP).