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Niko Associates: MENA-3 online games industry to expand 56% by 2026


Feb 2, 2023
Niko Partners: MENA-3 games market to grow 56% by 2026


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Niko Associates predicts that game titles profits in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt (MENA-3) will mature 56% from $1.8 billion in 2022 to $2.8 billion in 2026. This signifies a CAGR of almost 10% — indicating a big growth chance for the area. This forecast is aspect of the online games sector research firm’s 2nd once-a-year MENA-3 Online games Market Report & Five-Calendar year Forecast.

MENA-3 progress

In addition to this earnings progress, the company estimates the range of avid gamers will also develop nearly 30%, from 67.4 million last year to 87.3 million by 2026. This interprets to a CAGR of about 6%, which implies that customers are not growing approximately as quickly as spending. As a consequence, the company predicts that typical person paying out will boost in excess of the next 5 decades.

Niko Associates details to 3 drivers of this profits advancement: cellular gaming, general public and non-public sector investments and esports.

Mobile is the greatest system by revenue and players in MENA-3. Accessibility is a important issue — there’s a nutritious marketplace for consoles and PCs, but cell is projected to expand by double digit CAGR over the following five decades.


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Investments in gaming and esports have made headlines lately. In specific, Saudi Arabia’s General public Financial investment Fund (PIF) and its subsidiary Savvy Online games Group designed several large profile investments. This includes a $38 billion plan to make Saudi Arabia a global hub for gaming.

Esports in MENA-3

Esports provide to travel travel and tourism to the region and strengthen the country’s situation in the games current market. Savvy obtained top rated party organizers ESL Gaming and FACEIT for a whole of $1.5 billion last yr and the flagship Gamers8 festival will return in July 2023. Moreover, rival organizer BLAST has partnered with Abu Dhabi Gaming to host gatherings in the UAE.

Niko Associates expects that by 2026, MENA-3 will be competing with hubs like Singapore and China.

The firm’s facts also supports this financial investment approach into esports. 73% of gamers in MENA-3 have interaction with esports in some ability. This features these kinds of as watching esports written content, participating in esports-concentrated titles or competing in newbie or qualified tournaments. This exhibits broad enchantment for competitive gaming in the location.

Much more exclusively, about two in 5 gamers throughout the MENA-3 location check out esports content (41.7%) or perform esports titles (40.7%). A further more 12.4% have competed in beginner or professional esports tournaments them selves. Further more financial investment and large-profile occasions could incentivize far more engagement with esports — a essential advancement segment for the business.

Regional Distinctions and Demographics

MENA-3’s audience is also driving its growth opportunity. Whilst gaming proceeds to skew intensely male in the MENA-3 location — 67.4% of players in MENA-3 are male vs. 53.7% of the inhabitants — the viewers is young on regular.

76% of gamers in the MENA-3 location are less than the age of 35. Egypt in unique stands out, owning a substantially increased proportion of avid gamers under 25 years aged when compared to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Also, Egypt has the biggest populace of gamers and is the speediest escalating marketplace in the MENA-3

In comparison, Saudi Arabia is the most significant industry by games income and is regarded the gaming powerhouse of the location according to Niko Partners. Of class, this is partially fueled by the PIF’s investments. In the meantime the UAE has the maximum ARPU of the 3 marketplaces.

These results are based on Niko’s ongoing insights and investigation from regionally-dependent analysts, proprietary current market design and 5-12 months forecast, a survey of 1,126 area avid gamers and interviews of marketplace professionals from the area. Niko Companions whole 100-furthermore page report on the MENA-3 location is obtainable now.

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