Gaming revenues are expected to almost double by 2027 from 2021 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, reaching USD 6 billion, according to DMCC’s latest Future of Trade 2023 report titled “Gaming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Geared for growth”. A young and digital-savvy population, high levels of digital connectivity, and government support are driving the region’s emergence as a consumer and creator hub.
Gaming and esports are both fast growing consumer segments, benefiting from rapid advancements in technology as well as broader and more inclusive audiences. The UAE and Saudi Arabia lead the region, supported by high income levels, strong digital engagement, and public investment initiatives. Globally, Asia Pacific constitutes the largest market share and China, the US and Japan are the largest individual markets.
The report gathers contributions from key industry leaders to establish the critical drivers of the industry’s accelerated growth in the MENA region and beyond. It also examines the impact on gaming and esports from a technology, culture and business perspective, covering global consumer trends, the emergence of MENA as a gaming and esports hub, and the key challenges that the industry needs to address to increase revenues further.
Guiding the global industry’s accelerated growth from nearly USD 200 billion in revenues in 2021 to USD 340 billion in 2027, the report outlines a set of key recommendations for governments and businesses, namely:
- Diversify esports revenue streams from sponsorship to new direct-to-fan monetisation models – including digital merchandising, loyalty programmes and training platforms for amateur gamers – to boost revenues.
- Develop appropriate regulatory safeguards to ensure privacy, security and safety online in the digital gaming ecosystem and provide a business-friendly environment – including smoother visa systems to allow esports professionals and audiences to attend live events – to attract talent into the region and elevate it into a global industry leader.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “Gaming has come to the fore of entertainment globally, driving rapid growth especially in the MENA region, which now constitutes 15% of the global player base. The rise of gamification in areas such as education, healthcare, and other sectors has demonstrated gaming’s role in facilitating economic activity more broadly. Ensuring the accelerated growth of the gaming sector will have a measurable impact on the future of markets around the world, as well as the future of trade. As DMCC seeks to solidify Dubai’s reputation as a global trade and economic hub, efficiently activating opportunities within the gaming sector will prove essential.”
Among the most closely watched segments is esports, which is expected to post revenue growth of 23.3% between 2019 and 2024 in MENA. Fuelling this is the region’s young demographic, engagement from international broadcasters and sponsors, and government support. Tapping into this economic potential, DMCC partnered with YaLLa Esports, the Dubai-based professional esports organisation, to launch the DMCC Gaming Centre in December 2022. The Centre supports the growth of the industry in Dubai by providing gaming businesses with access to global capital, leading industry talent, and an ecosystem that allows them to operate efficiently and with confidence.
Due to the UAE’s strong business environment and infrastructure, as well as its status as a gateway to the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, various international gaming developers have set up their regional headquarters in the country. Ubisoft is based in Abu Dhabi, while the gaming giant Tencent set up its MENA HQ in Dubai along with Riot Games. In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has included gaming as a core element of its Neom project and has already made investments worth over $1.7 billion on the gaming industry.
Abios Powers Nigerian Esports Betting Brand Oyawin with Data and Widgets
As part of Kambi Group, Abios powers Nigerian sports betting brand Oyawin with odds and statistics from the largest matches and tournaments in esports.
Oyawin, the newly launched mobile-first sportsbook, allows Nigerian esports fans to access a wide range of statistics, as well as streams and odds from top esports matches, directly on their phones.
Abios has supplied 1337Pro with data and statistics for the largest esports titles, including CS:GO, Dota 2 and League of Legends, for years. The organisation has expanded from being a media platform to include a sportsbook solution and Oyawin, a sports betting brand registered in Nigeria.
With the help of Abios’ product portfolio, Oyawin can provide a comprehensive esports solution to Nigerian bettors. It is focused on tier 1 esports titles, including CS:GO, League of Legends and VALORANT. With access to Abios’ full portfolio, Oyawin can engage their audiences with engaging content such as player props, data visualisations and embedded streams.
It also features Abios’ esoccer solution, allowing fans to engage with engaging around-the-clock content supported by widgets and streams.
Oskar Bonnevier Fröberg, CEO and Founder of Abios comments: “To support the growth of esports in Nigeria, we’re delighted to supply Oyawin with our esports odds, statistics and data visualisations. It allows Nigerian bettors to discover and get access to engaging content for the largest tournaments in esports.”
Jason Foster, Managing Director of 1337Pro Bet: “Abios data has powered 1337pro.com for years, from fixtures, statistics and results to live stream links. We have now extended this success with full odds and trading integration for Oyawin. The platform’s successful launch has given us complete confidence in Abios and our products. We look forward to delighting our sportsbook operators.”
Global Esports Federation Attends UN and Commonwealth Meetings
The Global Esports Federation (GEF) has attended the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting (#10CYMM) in London and the United Nations 78th General Assembly (#UNGA78) in New York City. The GEF actively supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (#GlobalGoals) and emphasises its commitment to youth empowerment and a more connected world.
At the UN Headquarters, the GEF engaged with global youth, world leaders, and organisations showcasing its dedication to the #GlobalGoals. It underlined the opportunity and role in empowering youth and making a societal impact.
As a partner of #SDGdigital, and alongside the ITU Secretary General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the GEF presented the GameChangers Award, recognising youth-led organisations with innovative solutions for societal challenges.
“Sharing the messages of our community from London to New York City this week has been truly inspiring. Meeting world leaders and members of our global community, we conveyed the message that gaming and esports can be a powerful force for positive change in society, particularly for our youth. While many of us are connected, there are still 2.6 billion people who are not connected and therefore are left behind. The GEF is committed to working with partners worldwide to unlock the full potential of esports for a brighter future for all in our global community,” Paul J. Foster, CEO of the Global Esports Federation, said.
The GEF Vice President, Adrian Lismore, joined the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, at the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting in London. The Ministerial Outcome Statement included the acknowledgment of the “economic value to the member states and welcome partnership with the Global Esports Federation and other stakeholders to further develop initiatives and projects.”
The summit brought together over 400 delegates, including Ministers, Government and Senior Officials as well as young leaders, to ratify the Marlborough House Commitment, inspiring hope among Commonwealth youth.
The Commonwealth Youth Ministers acknowledged the potential of esports in driving youth engagement, innovation and economic growth, welcoming partnerships with the GEF. They also recognised the role of start-ups, including esports, in employment generation, innovation and technological advancement, pledging support for their growth.
‘Break the Meta’: Herman Miller Gaming and G2 Esports Launch Limited-Edition Embody Gaming Chair
G2 Esports, one of the world’s most distinctive and successful esports and entertainment brands, and Herman Miller Gaming, a global leader in innovative design known for producing some of the best seating solutions in the world, will take their partnership to the next level, releasing a limited-edition model of Herman Miller Gaming’s award-winning Embody Gaming Chair. Only 250 of the limited-edition G2-branded Embody Gaming Chairs will be manufactured, becoming available for purchase globally on September 26.
Herman Miller Gaming’s relentless pursuit of melding scientific precision, unparalleled performance and holistic wellbeing has converged with G2’s unyielding commitment to equipping gamers with the ultimate arsenal for triumph. The two companies are challenging gamers and esports fans to break away from the rudimentary standards of the typical gaming chair, prioritising their health and wellbeing: “Break the Meta”.
“This chair represents Herman Miller Gaming’s first-ever esports product collaboration, and G2 is the perfect partner. This version of the Embody Gaming Chair is a true celebration of our partnership with G2, and is tailored specifically with the G2 community in mind. While we are particularly eager to see how G2 fans will react to this launch, it’s a phenomenal design option for any gaming enthusiast,” Jon Campbell, Vice President and General Manager of Herman Miller Gaming, said.
With its top-performing Embody Gaming Chair design as the foundation, each limited-edition chair will be adorned with a unique serial number, making it a collector’s dream. Nodding to G2’s brand identity, the chair features splashes of red, which also indicate the functional elements of the chair – the height-adjustment lever, the seat-length adjustment handles and the arm pad triggers. The chair features a special RF weld design, reflecting the G2 logo geometry through an arced v-shape.
Alban Dechelotte, CEO of G2 Esports, said: “At G2, we relentlessly push boundaries in esports and entertainment, driving towards unparalleled success. Collaborating with esteemed partner Herman Miller, we’ve redefined the pinnacle of gaming chairs. Our 2023 has been exceptional, both in action and strategy, recognizing the slender margins that define triumph. Optimal gear undeniably empowers our players, and we’re thrilled to unveil this exclusive product to the wider esports and gaming world.”
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