GCC'S $821m gaming industry is key opportunity for telcos

Published: 26 January 2020 - 10:12 a.m.

The GCC’s online gaming market is set to exceed $821 million in value by the end of 2021, according to a new industry report.

The market will be a huge opportunity for the regions telecoms network operators to boost their own revenues in the years to come.

“The GCC gaming market has followed the rapid expansion and is expected to hit $821 million by 2021 from $693 million in 2017,” said Hicham Fadel, partner with Strategy& Middle East.

“Global games devised by international developers have so far dominated this regional market. This makes it a particularly attractive proposition for operators in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, where more than half the population is under 25 years of age and there is a strong opportunity to create localised gaming content”, he added.

The report by Strategy& suggests that Saudi Arabia is expected to expand its status as the Middle East’s biggest gaming market – a position it first achieved in 2019.

“Market research indicates that global games devised by international developers have captured the lion’s share of opportunity in the GCC. The top mobile games played in the GCC today are PUBG Mobile, Intikam Al Salatin, Fortnite, and Rise of Kingdoms. However, the demand for localised content remains strong and to an extent unfulfilled,” the report read.

“This creates a potential for global players to modify their content to satisfy GCC users, or for GCC users to adapt global content themselves. Indeed, regional players such as gaming studio Falafel Games and Arabic mobile games publisher Tamatem Games have started to emerge through building on their culturally relevant content.”

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