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Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt collectively may have 85.8 million players producing $3.1 billion in video games income by 2025, in response to market researcher Niko Partners.
Saudi Arabia’s video games market alone reached $1 billion in 2021, primarily based on the report on the MENA (Center East North Africa) market.
MENA has shortly emerged as a key progress area for the worldwide online game trade, Niko mentioned in its first report on the area.
For a consultant slice, the report focuses on what Niko calls the MENA-3: Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt. It additionally did a survey of three,000 players within the area, and it has spotlights on the Gulf States, North Africa, and Jordan.
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The report mentioned MENA-3 video games income was $1.76 billion in 2021, rising to $3.14 billion in 2025 at a 5-year compound annual progress price (CAGR) of 13.8%. The variety of MENA-3 players reached 65.32 million in 2021, and that can rise to 85.76 million in 2025.
Saudi Arabia is the gaming powerhouse of Arabic-speaking nations in MENA, balancing inhabitants measurement with excessive spending energy yielding the best income. The UAE is consultant of smaller Gulf states. Arabic is the official language, but the inhabitants is predominately expatriates.
Egypt is an rising video games market with an lively and aggressive gaming group and MENA-3’s largest market by players. Development might be pushed by increased spending per person, extra authorities help throughout video games and esports, and extra players coming into the market.
Almost half of the MENA inhabitants is beneath 25 years previous and have grown up as digital natives with gaming enjoying an enormous position of their leisure.
Governments within the area are supportive of the online game sector. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have launched insurance policies to encourage recreation localization, native recreation growth, new studios and places of work of worldwide recreation firms, and internet hosting main esports tournaments.
“MENA represents a key alternative for the online game trade,” mentioned Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Companions, in an electronic mail to GamesBeat. “The area has typically flown beneath the radar attributable to its small recreation growth scene, fragmented markets in addition to language and cultural limitations, however it has shortly develop into a area of significance.”
Ahmad mentioned the area has a large swing between international locations with excessive disposable earnings and low, and the report covers two excessive spending markets (Saudi Arabia and UAE), and one massive but decrease spending gaming inhabitants (Egypt).
“Esports is booming in MENA and a key driver of progress, with Saudi Arabia even together with it in its Imaginative and prescient 2030 plan,” Ahmad mentioned.
He mentioned console was the primary main progress market and stays a key market within the area. Cellular is the biggest market due to accessibility of smartphones, abundance of free-to-play (F2P) video games, cellular esports, and powerful web infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and the UAE (Enhancing in Egypt).
A majority of players in MENA-3 mentioned they spent extra time enjoying F2P video games on PC and Cellular in H1 2021 v H1 2020, Ahmad mentioned.
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