Mobile gaming in Middle East under the microscope

Mobile gaming in Middle East under the microscope

AdColony EMEA partnered with OnDevice to conduct a survey of mobile gamers and mobile gaming habits, and the results reaffirm the global trends where mobile gaming is a demographically diverse audience that continues to expand and grow in the region. The global gaming market will reach over $115 billion in 2018. At over $50 billion, the mobile gaming industry accounts for nearly half of all the global gaming revenue. In 2017, 42% of all gaming revenue went towards mobile games with a predicted growth to 52% in 2022. With over 800 000 mobile games in the app store, these apps accounted for more than 80% of all app revenue from Apple’s iOS App and Google Play Stores

It’s no secret that mobile gaming consumers are a diverse group as shown in the research conducted by the AdColony EMEA team and On Device Research, mobile gaming habits across many countries are in fact universal where all ages play daily and multiple times a day. Today, people like to watch videos in exchange for content and the types of games they play differ by gender, mood and mindset which determine why they play and how they feel while playing.

The survey revealed that this growing market for mobile gaming shows no signs of stopping, and has become a mass marketing channel for brands with high attention potential and huge opportunity for developers, publishers, and advertisers alike.

With respondents from +16 years old, across different local demographics, the survey paints a rosy picture for the future of mobile gaming in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Samantha Billingham, Regional Sales Director at AdColony EMEA said, “The gaming industry is no longer a niche arena for a certain age group or consumer segment. With the advent of mobile gaming and improvements to hardware used in playing these games, gaming has become a viable form of entertainment for players from all backgrounds and ages. Almost 90% of the smartphone owners in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are playing mobile games. You might not consider yourself a mobile gamer but this doesn’t change the fact that you are playing games on your mobile phone.”

Michael Ward – COO at On Device Research said, “Research indicates the United Arab Emirates was crowned the top region for smartphone penetration in 2017, with an amazing 80.6% penetration rate and a grand total of 7.5 million people with smartphones. Over 80% of people agree that they feel happy and relaxed while playing a game which is a huge opportunity for brands when trying to capture consumer attention in high potential mobile gaming environments.”

“Ramadan is a big income maker for mobile game developers. During a period where work hours are cut in half, the internet is the only main source of entertainment, people naturally turn to games to pass the time.”

While global trends showcase the ever changing mobile usage habits of consumers, the team at AdColony EMEA dived deep into the local habits of mobile users in order to understand the consumer sentiment and behaviors and optimize ways to reach them effectively.

 

Highlights for United Arab Emirates Residents (Male & Female)

  • 86% of Centennials and 79% of Gen Xers identify as people who play games on their mobile device
  • UAE Mobile Gamers play on an average 20 to 40 minutes a day playing.
  • The majority of those who play mobile games every day play games 5 times or more.
  • 77% of UAE Mobile Gamers selected home as the place while they play games.
  • 85% or the UAE Mobile Gamers prefer watching video ads for extra lives and/or in-game content in general.
  • 84% of females and 87% of males said they play games on their mobile devices

 

Highlights for KSA (Male & Female)

  • 88% of centennials and 50% of Gen Xers identify as people who play games on their mobile device
  • Saudi mobile gamers average 10 to 20 minutes a day playing.
  • The majority of those who play mobile games every day play games 5 times or more.
  • 77% of Saudi mobile gamers selected home as the place while they play games.
  • 80% or the Saudi users prefer watching video ads for extra lives and/or in-game content in general.
  • 89% of females and 93% of males play say they play games on their mobile devices

 

Highlights for Egypt (Male & Female)

  • More than 90% of centennials and 88% of Gen Xers identify as people who play games on their mobile device
  • Egyptian mobile gamers average 20 to 40 minutes a day playing.
  • The majority of those who play mobile games every day play games 5 times or more.
  • 79% of Egyptian mobile gamers selected home as the place while they play games.
  • 87% or the Egyptian users prefer watching video ads for extra lives and/or in-game content in general.
  • 90% of females and 83% of males play say they play games on their mobile devices
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