Over the past year, electronic gaming has dominated the bulk of the entertainment industry’s global revenue, raising $175 billion, up 22 percent from $21.6 billion for music, which grew by 7 percent.
That boom has made the sector particularly attractive to investments since the pandemic began, with video games among the biggest beneficiaries of the rise in demand for entertainment while staying at home, giving the industry a boost and leading to a big jump in sales.
Increasing indications are that the video game industry in the Middle East markets will take an important turn with investments in this promising sector expected to increase over the next four years.
The reforms have given legislation and changes in regulations adopted by some governments in the region over the past period in technology a strong boost for companies to concentrate their business there.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt together have achieved combined revenues in the gaming sector of about $1.76 billion last year making it a major growth market that has emerged very quickly in the industry.
Data from ADC and New Zoo showed that last year the Saudis topped the Arab list in spending on electronic games by more than $1 billion, accounting for about 20 percent of the region’s total spending of $5.4 billion, followed by Emirates.
As half of the population in the Middle East are youngsters under the age of 25, therefore, E-games are an essential part of their entertainment. Countries in the region support the e-gaming sector, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE launching policies encouraging the local gaming industry, hosting new studios and offices for global gaming companies, as well as organizing a number of diverse industry-related events.
Last year saw the announcement of a Saudi-Emirati partnership in the gaming industry through the signing of an agreement between Boss Beni Saudi Arabia and the UAE Production Studio for Metri, to invest in an electronic gaming industry inspired by local culture, its production was based on international standards.
The sector’s investments have been followed by countries in the region, most notably the purchase of stakes in international video game companies, including Activision Blizzard, Electronics Arts and Tech-to-Interactive Software. Figures show that the Fund’s investment reached about $6 billion in the first three months of last year.