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80 million MENA-3 gamers in 2027 with lots of investment to build the market

SILICON VALLEY, Calif. – February 7, 2024 – Niko Partners, a market research and consulting firm covering video games, esports, and streaming in Asia and MENA, today announced the release of its third annual MENA-3 Games Market Report & Five-Year Forecast about this vibrant and fast-growing market for games and esports. MENA-3 includes Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

The gaming industry in the MENA-3 region has experienced significant growth over the past few years, and video game revenue is projected to add $1 billion in 2022-2027 to surpass $2.65 billion. Fueled by increasing public and private investment in the games industry, high disposable income, and rising demand from its young population, MENA has quickly emerged as a key region to watch in the global video games industry.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • The MENA-3 video game market generated total revenue of $1.92 billion in 2023, up 7.8% YoY, rising to $2.65 billion in 2027 at a 5-year CAGR of 8.2%. Games markets in all 3 countries we track grew in 2023.
  • Total number of gamers reached 68.4 million in 2023, up 2.9% YoY, rising to 79.6 million in 2027 (5-year CAGR 3.7%).
  • 71.5% of gamers in MENA-3 engage with esports in some capacity such as watching esports content, playing esports games or competing in amateur or professional tournaments. Government support for esports is a major growth driver in the region.
  • Saudi Arabia (KSA) is the largest market by games revenue in MENA-3 and is considered the gaming powerhouse of the region, generating more than half the regional revenue in 2023.
  • Smartphones are both the most used device for playing games in MENA-3 (87.2% of gamers) and have the highest average hours played each week (8.7 hours).
  • The top 3 most played IPs in the MENA-3 region (PUBG, EA Sports FC, and Call of Duty) are played by two-thirds of all gamers, based on Niko’s survey results.

“There are over 420 million Arabic speakers globally, which makes it the #5 most spoken language in the world. Paying attention to and participating in the games industry in MENA will help companies succeed globally as well,” said Lisa Hanson, CEO and President of Niko Partners . “It is imperative to recognize the growth in the MENA games markets, study the local players and ecosystems, and implement a localized strategy to take part in the growth that governments are planning for and supporting, particularly in Saudi Arabia, UAE and other GCC markets.”

Niko Partners MENA-3 Games Market report is 95 slides and includes a comprehensive market model and 5-year forecast through 2027 by games segment, key data on companies, gamers and the market, growth drivers, and trends. This includes details on esports, payments, government support, and qualitative and quantitative analysis on gamer demand, spending, and behavior—tracked by Niko’s regionally-based analysts. The methodology includes a survey of 1,160 gamers in MENA-3 as well as interviews with industry professionals in the region.

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Niko Partners is the world’s leading market research firm covering video games and esports in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Leveraging unmatched local expertise with a global perspective, Niko Partners delivers the most in-depth market intelligence on the world’s fastest-growing regions. With our deeper understanding of these markets, game developers, publishers, investors, and suppliers can make smarter business decisions with the utmost confidence. Our detailed reports, subscription insights, and custom consulting services dig into the details of nuanced, complex markets, empowering firms with a stake in the video game and esports ecosystems to make the right moves for their organizations. Coverage areas include East Asia (Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei), China, Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), India, and MENA (Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt in North Africa). The company is based in Silicon Valley, with offices in Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, and London. Learn more at