Middle East & Africa Esports Market Research Report, 2028

Middle East & Africa Esports Market Research Report, 2028

Actual Market Research 31-01-2023 69 Pages Figures : 13 Tables : 17 Region : MEA Category : IT & Telecommunications Internet, E-Commerce & Software

1. Sony Corporation

2. Intel Corporation

3. NVIDIA Corporation

4. Wargaming Public

5. Rovio Entertainment


E-sports are witnessing substantial market demand in the current market scenario, and they are driving the overall gaming industry across the Middle East. The entire e-sports market is expected to grow over the coming years. In recent years, gaming has changed radically. Not only have the games themselves evolved so has the way users engage with them. Each player competing against the machine has given way to increased interaction among players (both competitive and cooperative) with multiplayer games gaining popularity. Consequently, gaming has become a much more social activity than it used to be. All these changes have been both a cause and a consequence of a radically different way of consuming games. Free-to-play games and easier access to games have greatly expanded the number of people playing online. Furthermore, streaming platforms allow gamers to consume games in ways they have never experienced before: they not only allow them to play games but also watch and comment on how other players play them. The development of new technologies and the integration of initiatives such as virtual reality and the meta-verse, combined with these novel forms of consumption, have resulted in a constantly changing industry. According to the recent research report, “Middle East & Africa Esports Market Research Report, 2028” published by Actual Market Research, the market is anticipated to USD 249 Million market size during the forecast period. The growing penetration of smartphones and online gaming is a crucial factor driving the market's growth. The growing development of AR-based apps and games is expected to create market opportunities over the forecast period. The Middle East’s esports industry has a promising future. A new gaming ecosystem is taking shape, fuelled by the significant talent emerging across the region. A young, tech-savvy population is driving this boom, making it the fastest-growing video game market globally. The Middle East and Africa region have been a growing market for video games for years. Ubisoft, Minecraft, and Fortnite count young people from the region among their most ardent fans. Tencent Games opened its regional headquarter in Dubai Internet City. The number of gamers in the region keeps going up as smartphones, PCs, and consoles become available to more of the region’s population. While from Riyadh to Cairo are dotted with video game cafes emblazoned with Call of Duty characters, esports is seeing high demand in the region. International tournaments and the growth of different leagues have fuelled the Middle East region’s acceleration into the esports sector. The government of Middle East & Africa is investing in sports to boost the sports industry as entertainment for people. For instance, the Government of Saudi Arabia committed to invest USD 3.3 billion in the gaming industry. Thus, the growing gaming industry is expected to boost the expansion opportunity for electronic sports in the Middle East & Africa market. Similarly, the pandemic has surged the demand for in-house entertainment that was catered through these platforms. Thus, the potential growth of these platforms in MEA grew significantly as various investors entered the market. For instance, In March 2022, Gamerji launched its electronic sports platform in the Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE as its international expansion strategy. The company aims to target 2.5 Million audiences in the Middle East region. The gaming industry proliferates in the United Arab Emirates, with rising interest and investment in locally developing home-grown talent and games. In terms of spending, it is a very diverse region. It is expected that the average gamer in the country spends USD 115 per year. Based on the report, the market is segmented into various parts including sponsorship, media rights, merchandise & tickets, publisher fees, digital and streaming. Among them, sponsorship segment leads the market with more than 59% market share in 2022. Smartphone gaming has increased in the past couple of years. In the United Arab Emirates, mobile gamers play an average of 20 to 40 minutes of video games a day. This increasing demand for mobile games directly results from various technological advancements such as AR, VR, cloud gaming, and 5G. This trend is not surprising, considering the mobile game industry primarily relies on new technology. Another trend in the market includes the rise of the hyper-casual game genre. AR is becoming perfect for mobile gaming, owing to its immersive and interactive nature of technology. Moreover, mobile games are the most popular AR category in app stores. Internet penetration across the Middle East & Africa was more than 56% in 2020. With that 75% of population are smartphone users. Other countries such as, Qatar has enormous potential to dominate the esports industry and take the lead on a global scale. This is precisely what prompted the government to establish the Qatar E-Sports Federation, which operates under the supervision of the Qatar Olympic Committee and aims to boost internal and external participation in the sport. In Middle East & Africa, the number of esports bets placed online surpassed all expectations. This growth has fuelled an even larger increase in investment. As an example, W. Ventures recently announced that it plans to invest USD 50 Million to build an esports and gaming structure in Dubai. In January 2019, Turkey opened one of the biggest esports venues in the world. Further, Anubis Gaming, one of the most popular esports organizations in Egypt and the Middle East had Egyptian esports athletes who represented Egypt in the Intel Arabian Cup (a tournament organized by Riot Games, Intel, and Lenovo). The team competed with teams from around the globe and won first place. Usually, it is South Korean and Chinese gamers dominating the esports athletes ranking but the Middle Eastern players are now getting in the game and competing against the best. Further, mobile device is leading the Middle East & Africa market with more than 45% followed by gaming device such as console and handheld devices. The UAE, also a key contender, was early into the game, hosting the first large-scale competition seven years ago in Dubai, while Abu Dhabi is putting esports at the centre of its new residential and entertainment complex Al Qana which will feature a large gaming complex and a certified esports academy. Saudi Arabia meanwhile has announced that its planned smart city complex at Neom will include the largest centre for games development in the world. Furthermore, Geekay, a dynamic Saudi Arabian company with video game stores throughout the UAE, launched its esports teams in May 2021 to capitalize on the region’s pandemic-driven online gaming boom. The players, who collectively won six regional competitions within their first few months as pros—including the inaugural Intel Arabian Cup (IAC)—are now an integral part of Geekay’s brand, as esports is propelled further into the mainstream. Geekay has a women’s team, too, George points out, noting that not all gaming geeks are guys. From a brand new facility in Dubai, young gamers are hosting virtual regional esports competitions sponsored by global brands as they shoot to become major players in the multi-billion-dollar industry. Region’s leading telcos Ooredoo, Zain, Etisalat and STC have each launched their own esports brands, organising tournaments to create a calendar of regular regional competitions. In Middle East & Africa, leading Esport Teams include YaLLA Esports and team Falcons. Tournaments & Leagues includes Dota 2 Riyadh Masters 2022, Gamers8 Rocket League, Gamers8 Fortnite, and Gamers8 Rainbow Six Siege. National associations and federations across the region includes Saudi Esports Federation and NASR eSports. Further, major Sponsor industries in the region include LG, Mastercard, Spotify, Razer, Intel, Burger King, ASUS, and many others. More recently, Kuwaiti telecom provider Zain Group, which has 50 Million customers across Middle East region, launched a new esports brand, Zain Esports, to build a calendar of regional online esport tournaments. Working with the Saudi Telecom Company, Activision introduced dedicated servers, hosted in Riyadh and Jeddah, for Call of Duty in the region. Moreover, Riot Games, behind League of Legends, followed suit with Middle Eastern servers for the game Valorant in October 2020. The Saudi Arabian government is also heavily investing billions of dollars in theme parks and amusement spaces. So, as Saudi entertainment industry stakeholders, trade visitors can attend dedicated conferences to gain knowledge and wealth of experience and get a hands-on technology experience at its innovative best. The Middle East gaming market is moderately competitive and consists of many global and regional players. These players account for a considerable share in the market and focus on expanding their client base across the world. They are focusing on R&D activities, strategic alliances, and other organic and inorganic growth strategies to stay in the market landscape over the forecast period. • In January 2022, Lenovo announced its plan to launch a new range of gaming devices under the Legion brand for tablets. The device may come with 640 GB, made possible by combining two separate 512 GB and 128 GB sticks. Lenovo Legion Y90 will feature a 144Hz refresh rate and 720 Hz touch sampling rate. This panel supports HDR content, and the smartphone will come with a dual-engine air-cooled system for sustained performance. • In January 2022, working with the Saudi Telecom Company, Activision introduced dedicated servers, hosted in Riyadh and Jeddah, for Call of Duty in the region. In October, Riot Games, the League of Legends, followed suit with Middle Eastern servers for the game Valorant. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund added a USD 1.1 billion boost to its investment in Activision Blizzard Inc. after Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy Activision Blizzard Inc. • ESL; Electronic Sports League which is one of the biggest organisers in esports on an international level are planning to expand their reach in the Middle East due to the riding wave of esports currently happening. (Mercedes-Benz renewed its partnership with ESL as their global mobility partner, as the company is pleased to be part of the rapidly growing gaming community). • The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) hosted one of the largest gaming events called the Middle East Games Con during October 2020. It was an esports tournament that took place online due to Covid-19 after being planned to take place in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and gamers from all over the world joined this tournament. • Riot Games is launching League of Legends: Wild Rift for the Middle Eastern gamers as an esports tournament. This event is taking place online and the finale will be offline during September 2021 in Beijing Olympic Sports Center as a part of the Esports Beijing 2021. Esport Start-ups in Middle East & Africa PrizePicks, Champions Round, Player's Lounge, Salad Technologies, Blaze, Azarus, ThriveFantasy, Brain Racers, Mindfuture, CrouchJump, Revv.gg, Noiz, Battlefy, Wakaw.Live, 50-50 gaming, Arcadia.tv, Rivals Media, GGs.io, Hearo.Live-Multiplayer TV, GridRival Major Companies present in the market: Intel Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation, Wargaming Public, Rovio Entertainment, alphabet Inc (YouTube), Twitch Interactive, Inc., Facebook, Inc, Beyond The Summit, Riot Games, Inc, Sony Group Corporation, HTC Corporation, Gfinity plc Considered in this report • Geography: Middle East & Africa • Historic year: 2017 • Base year: 2022 • Estimated year: 2023 • Forecast year: 2028 Aspects covered in this report • Middle East & Africa esport market with its value and forecast along with its segments • Country-wise esport market analysis • Various drivers and challenges • On-going trends and developments • Top profiled companies • Strategic recommendation Countries covered in the report: • United Arab Emirates • Saudi Arabia • South Africa By Revenue Streams: • Sponsorship • Media Rights • Merchandise & Tickets • Publisher Fees • Digital • Streaming By Device Type: • Mobile (Smartphone, Tablet) • PC (Laptop, Desktop) • Gaming Device (Console, Handheld Devices) • Other (VR, Smart TV, etc.) The approach of the report: This report consists of a combined approach of primary as well as secondary research. Initially, secondary research was used to get an understanding of the market and list out the companies that are present in the market. The secondary research consists of third-party sources such as press releases, and annual reports of companies, analyzing the government-generated reports and databases. After gathering the data from secondary sources primary research was conducted by making telephonic interviews with the leading players about how the market is functioning and then conducting trade calls with dealers and distributors of the market. Post this we have started doing primary calls to consumers by equally segmenting consumers into regional aspects, tier aspects, age groups, and gender. Once we have primary data with us we started verifying the details obtained from secondary sources. Intended audience This report can be useful to industry consultants, manufacturers, suppliers, associations & organizations related to the esport industry, government bodies, and other stakeholders to align their market-centric strategies. In addition to marketing & presentations, it will also increase competitive knowledge about the industry.

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