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MENA-3 games market generated $1.92bn in 2023

The Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt (MENA-3) games market increased 7.8% year-on-year to $1.92 billion in 2023 and is expected to rise to $2.65 billion in 2027, according to a new report by Niko Partners.

Saudi Arabia generated more than half of the region’s revenue, followed by the United Arab Emirates (31.9%) and Egypt (10.5%).

The report said this growth was fueled by increased public and private investment, high disposable income in the region, and a “rising demand from its young population.”

There were 68.4 million gamers in the region during 2023, which is up by 2.9% year-on-year and is expected to rise to 79.6 million in 2027. Over half of players in MENA-3 were from Egypt, compared to 30.4% in Saudi Arabia and 11.1% in the United Arab Emirates.

Elsewhere, the report found that 71.5% of players in the MENA-3 region participated in esports, which was boosted by government support.

87.2% of gamers used smartphones to play games in the region, with the highest average hours played each week at 8.7 hours.

Lisa Hanson, CEO and president of Niko Partners, said: “There are over 420 million Arabic speakers globally, which makes it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Paying attention to and participating in the games industry in MENA will help companies succeed globally as well.

“It is imperative to recognise the growth in the MENA games markets, study the local players and ecosystems, and implement a localised strategy to take part in the growth that governments are planning for and supporting, particularly in Saudi Arabia, UAE and other GCC markets.”

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