Investors across the UAE and the Middle East region are increasingly turning their sights to gaming technology, driven by the growth of the sector during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Experts say that the rise in the popularity of gaming is creating opportunities for developers too, and more projects have appeared in the hopes of meeting the needs of a growing audience.
“We have seen remarkable growth in the regional gaming sector this year, considering that the virtual world has increasingly served as a substitute for regular social interactions. The UAE’s ecosystem for gaming and content creation is rapidly evolving, owing to world-class infrastructure, a sizeable & growing market, high rates of digital penetration and connectivity, and the ease of doing business. Over the years, the region has developed a highly engaged gaming audience, which presents a huge opportunity for developers and content creators,” said Majed Al Suwaidi, MD of Dubai Media City and head of in5 Dubai.
As the Middle East’s leading hub for media and entertainment, Dubai Media City and startup incubator in5 Dubai are contributing to the growth of the industry by providing a platform for gaming innovators to bring their ideas to market.
“Most recently, our partner Boss Bunny joined hands with Lammtara Studio to develop games based on some of the region’s most well-loved animated shows, including Freej,” said Al Suwaidi. “Our community also organises or participates in events and initiatives such as ON.DXB, DGC and GameOn for increased inter and intra-industry collaboration and dialogue. We look forward to what developments the next few years bring, and eagerly anticipate the application of new interactive technologies in gaming, such as AR and VR.”
Market researcher, Newzoo, predicted that the number of gamers around the globe will top three billion by 2023. The world’s 2.7 billion gamers will spend $159.3 billion on games in 2020, and, by 2023, the game market will surpass $200 billion. That spending level represents a 9.3 per cent growth compared to 2019, and it includes revenues for mobile, PC, and console gaming. Newzoo expects revenues for games to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3 per cent, resulting in revenues of $200.8 billion by 2023.
Newzoo noted that while all game segments saw an increase in engagement and revenues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was mobile gaming that saw the biggest increase. In total, mobile games will generate revenues of $77.2 billion in 2020, growing 13.3 per cent from 2019. The growth in the segment is being driven by mobile games and hits such as Fortnite, League of Legends, and Pokémon Go.
Recently, Kaspersky Innovation Hub (iHub) and edge cloud provider, G-Core Labs, announced that they have joined forces to search for and support promising gaming projects. The partnership between the global companies will provide expertise, infrastructure and resources to prospects that have the potential to change the gaming world and ensure a safer tomorrow. Through their program, Kaspersky and G-Core Labs aim to bring multiple values to the startup community and allow entrepreneurs to develop trailblazing gaming projects. The partner companies also plan to jointly connect with gaming startups to raise the awareness about the initiative among niche developers.
“We are happy to join forces with G-Core Labs and support developers who are driven by a desire to enhance gaming technologies. This partnership is an important step to pull together our capabilities, back innovative startups and give them an opportunity to validate, grow and scale their ideas,” said Vitaly Mzokov, head of Kaspersky iHub.
G-Core Labs will provide prospects with free access to its cloud infrastructure, which is critical to build products technically. Selected startups will have a chance to receive up to €25,000 that can be spent on the cloud company’s services within a two-year period.
“G-Core Labs has many years of experience providing service for the gaming industry. Our global cloud infrastructure, with over 100 points of presence on five continents, was originally created to solve the most complex challenges. I’m sure that our partnership with Kaspersky will eventually have a positive impact on the gaming industry,” said Vsevolod Vayner, head of Cloud Platform Department at G-Core Labs.
Events to be staged at the DWTC, comprising diverse sectors including construction, energy, technology, beauty, food, healthcare, environment and automotive, will mark the emirate’s post-pandemic economic recovery