Niko Partners has released its second annual MENA-3 Games Market Report & Five-Year Forecast, predicting the performance of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates over the coming years.
Niko Partners predicts that the market will grow 56 percent by 2026, increasing from $1.8 billion in 2022 to $2.8 billion in 2026, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent.
The number of gamers in the region is also predicted to rise from 67.4 million in 2022 to 87.3 million in 2026, at a CAGR of 5 percent. This suggests that there will be a rise in average revenue per user (ARPU), with more players spending more money.
This strong growth will be driven primarily by mobile gaming, as well as public and private sector investment in esports, which Niko Partners reports will “likely catapult the region alongside global esports giants such as Singapore and China.”
Different market focuses
Interestingly, each of the three countries in the MENA-3 region will contribute to this growth in different ways, with each leading in different metrics. Saudi Arabia, which is often considered the gaming powerhouse for the region and has the largest market by gamesrevenue, while the UAE leads the way in terms of ARPU.
Egypt has the largest gaming population of the three countries, including a higher proportion of gamers below 25. Across the region, 76 percent of gamers below 35 engage with games. However, the MENA-3 region as a whole skews heavily towards male gamers, with Venturebeat reporting that while 53.7 percent of the population is male, men account for 67.4 percent of gamers in the region.
The MENA-3 region also shows strong engagement with esports, with 73 percent of gamers doing so in some capacity, whether this is watching content, playing esports games, or competing in tournaments.
Niko Partners recently released a report on the games market’s performance in 2022. We released our own analysis, listing the top 30 mobile game makers in the region, in December.
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