This blog will discuss the market of video game publishers in MENA. in the beginning, there will be a discussion about the MENA gaming market. We will highlight the difference between game publishers VS game developers. We will list a few relatively renowned video game publishers in MENA.  At the end of the blog, we will highlight the importance and the advantages of CCCI’s localizing games into Arabic services.

Key Takeaways:

  • 25% is the growth rate of the MENA gaming market.
  • Subsequently, Arabic-speaking games, leveraging the COVID-19 situation, have noticed a rapid growth in the past few years.
  • Last year, the revenue of games was more than 1 billion dollars in the MENA region with expectations that it will rise up to half in the following three years.
  • Last year, the number of players in the region reached 65.32 million with the figure expected to rise to more than 20% in the following three years.
  • Last March, Arabic-language broadcasts on Twitch increased by an annual rate of 95.3%, while January this year saw a rise of 109.9%.

Table of contents

  • MENA Gaming Market
  • Game Publisher VS Game Developer 
  • Video Game Publishers in MENA
  • CCCI – Professional Arabic Game Services 

MENA Gaming Market

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.

Pro Tip

Pro Tip

The MENA market is attracting more international game publishers/developers and it is great to start thinking of investing in this fast-growing arena.

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.

Game Publisher VS Game Developer

The next part is about the differences between a video game publisher and a video game developer. a publisher owns an intellectual property which would be as such Gears of War Halo or Uncharted. Obviously, they pay for their promotion, marketing, and poster merchandise. We have publishers like EA Activision, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Sony, Microsoft.

Note: The difference between game publishers and developers in MENA is still not that clear as some local companies develop and publish their games.  

The developer owns the game but more often than not is going to be owned by the publisher. so developers are the ones that are actually actively working on the game. These are the developers like Bioware Bethesda Game Studios which is a separate part of Bethesda. Developers do not usually have the chance to work on the marketing, sales, and promotional aspects of the game.