MENAP gaming market set to hit $2.8B by 2026 -report

Shorooq Partners has unveiled its Q1 2023 Gametech Report, providing valuable insights into the Mobile, Esports, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) region’s gaming ecosystem. The report not only highlights the potential for local publishers to thrive in the rapidly growing mobile market but also emphasizes opportunities for international companies to succeed by adapting to the region’s distinctive market dynamics.

Acknowledging the global trend of a 5% drop in mobile gaming spending to $110 billion in 2022, coupled with an increase in downloads, the report recognizes the challenges faced by companies prioritizing profit over growth. This shift is influenced by changes in user acquisition strategies due to evolving privacy norms.

The report sheds light on Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policies, particularly the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and SKAN 4, significantly impacting the mobile gaming landscape. While SKAN 4 provides privacy-friendly measurement capabilities, marketers are anticipated to take most of 2023 to harness its features fully.

The report underscores the critical role of robust payment infrastructure for gaming companies, emphasizing the need for seamless subscription processes and in-app purchases with minimal impact on gameplay to gain a competitive edge.

Technical glitches, human errors, and security concerns contribute to a 15% failure rate in gaming payments initiated by users, posing challenges for effectively targeting users in the MENAP region.

The report predicts that the MENAP gaming market will reach $2.8 billion by 2026, showcasing a compound annual growth rate of 10%. Factors contributing to this growth include the increasing popularity of mobile gaming, the affordability of technology, and the rising number of game developers and publishers in the region.

MENAP has witnessed a surge in game publications, with three times more games published in 2023-2023 than in the previous period. The report suggests that the region is on track to compete with China, particularly as regulations restrict the growth of Chinese companies domestically.

Investments in the gaming value chain totaled over $6 billion in Q1 2023, bringing the total invested capital to $15 billion. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia played a significant role as an investor.

The number of gamers in the MENAP region is projected to increase from 67.4 million in 2022 to 87.3 million in 2026.

MENAP gamers exhibit a preference for skill-based and social play games, with titles like “Rise of Kingdoms” and “PUBG Mobile” gaining popularity. Local favorites such as “Yalla Ludo” continue to perform well.

Match3 games have experienced a 30% increase in downloads, but the heightened demand has led to a 200% increase in the cost per install as more developers target this lucrative market.

Simulation games have seen a 35% decrease in in-app purchases, contributing to a 20% overall drop in in-app purchases and ad revenue. Players have become more selective, and ad-blocking tech is employed to prevent new monetization options.

As the global frontrunner of the gaming industry, China is experiencing a remarkable reversal of fortunes in 2023, bouncing back from the setbacks of 2022. According to a recent report, the nation’s gaming revenues are set to soar, reaching an estimated $47.7 billion this year, marking a substantial 5.2% year-over-year growth.

Written by Gizem Yılmaz


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