Online Games are virtually-integrated video games on PCs, mobile phones, gaming consoles, etc., played over the internet. Rising internet penetration in the country and imposition of nationwide lockdown during 2020 are the key factors contributing to the increased demand for online games. Furthermore, burgeoning government support for gamers in line with Saudi Vision 2030 to help boost the online gaming industry as a key contributor to the nation’s economy is another crucial aspect driving the demand for online games.
The Saudi Arabia Online Gaming Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 7.85% during the forecast period, i.e., 2022-27. The growth of the market imputes primarily to the increasing number of affordable internet plans, easy access to online games, and large-scale development of unique & multiplayer games, such as PUBG (PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds), etc. According to the GlobalWebIndex, around 91% of the internet users in Saudi Arabia in the age bracket of 16-64 play video games on various devices, such as consoles, laptops, PC, mobile, etc., with per-user time spent increased from 1 hr 33 minutes in 2020 to 1 hr 58 min (year on year basis) in 2021.
Saudi Arabia is home to 21.2 million gamers, i.e., the world's 19th largest market in the gaming industry with a revenue jump of over 4.1% as compared to 2019." The establishment of the Saudi Esports Federation (SEF) in 2017 to govern the Gaming industry of Saudi Arabia has further contributed towards the market growth in the country. Since its inception, the federation has organized multiple world-class national & international gaming tournaments and events to attract investments from both local & private-sector corporations while actively working with international gaming developers for opportunities in Saudi Arabia.
Key Trends in the Market
The Educational institutions of Saudi Arabia are increasingly adopting different forms of computer games for children to deliver learning content in the form of puzzle games, GK quiz games, etc. This development aims to offer alternative educational games to develop their learning & social skills, inspired by their culture, history, and language.
|Study Period||Historical Data: 2017-20|
|Base Year: 2021|
|Forecast Period: 2022-27|
|Key Companies Profiled||Sony Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Apple Inc., Google LLC (Alphabet Inc.), Electronic Arts Inc., NetEase Inc. Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd., Nintendo, Ubisoft Entertainment, Square Enix Co., Ltd., Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.|
|Unit Denominations||USD Million/Billion|
Impact of Covid-19 on the Saudi Arabia Online Gaming Market
The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 positively impacted the revenue generation for the Saudi Arabia Online Gaming Market, primarily due to lockdown restrictions & stringent stay-at-home policies that derived the young population toward discovering some indoor entertainment activities like online video games. Moreover, investments in internet infrastructure by the Saudi government led to a rise in internet penetration in the country that contributed to the revenue generation of online streaming platforms due to increased demand for gaming tutorials. Telecom operators & streaming platforms reported a significant increase in gaming traffic in 2020. For instance: