Posted on: Wednesday 12 September, 2012 7:09
|Dubai Becoming a Major Hub for Online and Video Games Industry in the Middle East, Says Experts
Dubai continues to position itself as a major hub for online and video games industry in the Middle East and worldwide. With more than $ 100 million in revenues from the online gaming industry in the Middle East, experts revealed that the United Arab Emirates has a big share in this industry especially after it was ranked 5th largest in the Middle East for internet usage. The online gaming industry is at its highest among the rest and experts are expecting this number to double in the coming few years.
Moreover, the worldwide online gaming market is projected to grow to $20 billion by the end of 2012. Experts in the Game industry in the Middle East and game developers had revealed lately that the ME online gamers community are now considered the fastest growing among others globally and that the industry is witnessing a phenomenal growth. Moreover, demographics show that the gaming industry in the Middle East will continue to boom for many years to come due to the unprecedented number of gamers whom are increasing every day in addition to the increase in the number of internet users which is estimated at 70 million users in the ME and are expected to reach 150 million in 2015.
The increase in the number of internet users is connected to the increase in the number of gamers, as most of the gamers prefer online games more than video games where they can compete with local, regional and international gamers whenever they want and wherever they are. This trend has been taking a new dimension for the past five years, and youth - whom are 60% of the Arab population, are getting more attracted and attached to online games. Facebook for example features thousands of games where you can play with your friends or any other competitors on the social network, while statistics reveal that there are 2.89 million Arabic gamers playing on Facebook every month while the total number of Facebook users reached 24 million.
Nexon – a worldwide leader in online games - is to debut in the Middle East through participating in the upcoming edition of the Dubai World Game Expo which is part of the Big Entertainment Show in Dubai – the United Arab Emirates. They are looking forward to explore the Middle East platforms through BES hoping that they will also meet some service providers whom can bridge the gap between Nexon and online games consumers.
Nexon’s robust portfolio includes more than 50 games that are available in more than 100 countries including china, Korea, Japan, North America and Europe. Nexon titles appeal to more than 77 million monthly active users across the globe. Their titles include popular franchises such as MapleStory, KartRider, Dungeon and many more. KartRider alone has more than 220 million registered users worldwide.
Turkey’s Peak Games has stated that the value of the regional online gaming industry is about $100 million compared to last year’s estimated $70 million. The next phase of growth lies with Arabic localized content, which is moving rapidly to catch up with counterparts from the west, and with the growth of the video game industry in the Middle East, many service providers are joining their efforts and some are emerging in order to fill the gap and demand for complementary services such as mobile and online payment gateways.
Istanbul-headquartered social gaming company Peak Games is the 3rd largest social gaming firm which focuses on the Middle East Region and has 9.7 million daily active users worldwide on Facebook, compared with 56 million for Zynga and 12 million for King.com. One of the reasons that Peak has grown so fast is that half of Turkey’s population has internet access and a significant number of them use Facebook.
Thousands of enthusiasts including developers, publishers, distributors, payment providers and gamers are geared up to take part in the fifth edition of the Dubai World Game Expo, which is part of The Big Entertainment Show. Interest in the Dubai World Game Expo this year is large with exhibitors from several countries such as South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Germany, Portugal, India, the United States and Japan.
As the industry continues to grow, the demand for service providers continues to increase. The Dubai World Game Expo organizers announced that a number of payment gateway providers such as Onecard and Mopay are among the exhibitors that provide online payment solutions. These companies will fill the need for online gaming companies who are keen to enter the Middle East gaming market.
The Big entertainment Show has become the largest show in the Middle East Region specialized in Media and TV content, Character and Brand Licensing, Game Developing and publishing, in addition to all trading companies working in the export and import business. This unique event which combines the “Dubai International Character and Licensing Fair”, “Dubai World Game Expo” and “MYCONTENT” attracts TV broadcasters, game developers, investors and licensors from all parts of the world to the Middle East Market, which is considered one of the biggest importing markets for this industry.
The Show is scheduled from the 27th - 28th of November this year at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event will highlight the importance of this promising market and the need to develop proper Arabic content, learn from the foreign experiences and the success stories during the event’s summit and educational sessions.