Mena Gaming Market to Hit $5 Billion by 2025, Says RedSeer

The size of the Middle East and North Africa gambling market is expected to grow by 19% to over $5 billion by 2025, from 2019, according to a new report.

Market growth will be fueled by increased spending by existing gamers, increased time spent by users, and increased advertising revenue, according to a report by consultancy RedSeer.

“The Mena game is expected to surpass all-time highs, after the jump seen in 2020-21, due to the [Covid-19] pandemic and sustained growth is expected in all markets. Game content localization, Web3 are other key drivers,” RedSeer said.

A growing influx of consumers from “underappreciated cohorts” such as women and Gen X gamers (aged 41 to 56) is giving the industry momentum, the consultancy said.

The gaming market is booming around the world after people resorted to home entertainment during coronavirus lockdowns for the past two years.

The gaming industry has around three billion participants worldwide, according to industry data provider Newzoo.

The market value is expected to reach $339.95 billion by 2027, up from $198.4 billion in 2021, according to Mordor Intelligence.

“We are seeing women’s enthusiasm for the game match or even eclipse their male counterparts in many key markets across the Mena region,” RedSeer said.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – the largest economies in the Arab world – have led the industry’s growth in the region as they have seen the highest gambling penetration.

In the Emirates, nearly 64% of adult men online and 58% of women online are into digital games, while the kingdom has 68% of male online gamers and 69% of female online gamers, according to the report.

The overlap between games and Web3 positions the industry as an “ideal beneficiary of the virtual world,” the report says.

Web3 is billed as the next iteration of the World Wide Web, with blockchain, decentralization, openness, and greater user convenience among its core components.

“His [Web3’s] the meteoric rise and growing enthusiasm of investors has brought many of its fundamental components under the microscope. This naturally sheds light on already thriving gaming segments such as AR/VR [augmented reality / virtual reality] games,” he added.

More than one in five gamers in the Mena region participate in games to earn money due to their rewarding nature and to increase their income, the research found.

The gaming market in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt is expected to be worth $3.14 billion by 2025, according to California-based market research and consulting firm Niko Partners.

In February, MBC Group, Mena’s biggest broadcaster, formed a joint venture with Neom, the $500 billion high-tech megacity under construction in the kingdom, to create the first AAA game development studio in the region.

A month earlier, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, launched a gaming company, Savvy Gaming Group, to bolster its position in the sector.

Updated: June 01, 2022, 06:00

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