Niko Partners: MENA-3 games market to grow 56% by 2026

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Niko Partners forecasts Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt (MENA-3) gaming revenue to grow 56% from $1.8 billion in 2022 to $2.8 billion in 2026. region. This forecast is part of the games market research firm’s second annual MENA-3 games market report and five-year forecast.

Growth of MENA-3

In addition to this revenue growth, the company also expects the number of gamers to grow by nearly 30% from 67.4 million last year to 87.3 million in 2026. This translates to his CAGR of around 6%. As fast as spending. As a result, the company expects average user spend to increase over the next five years.

Niko Partners cites three drivers for this revenue growth. Mobile gaming, public and private sector investment, and esports.

Mobile is the largest platform by revenue and players in MENA-3. Accessibility is an important factor. While the console and PC markets are healthy, mobile is projected to grow at his double-digit CAGR over the next five years.


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Investing in games and esports is a hot topic these days. In particular, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and its subsidiary Savvy Games Group have made several high-profile investments. This includes his $38 billion plan to make Saudi Arabia a global hub for gaming.

Esports in MENA-3

Esports will help boost travel and tourism to the country and strengthen the country’s position in the gaming market. Savvy acquired top event organizer ESL Gaming and his FACEIT last year for a total of $1.5 billion, and his flagship Gamers8 festival will take place in his July 2023 season. In addition, rival organizer BLAST partnered with Abu Dhabi Gaming to host his event in the UAE.

Niko Partners expects MENA-3 to compete with hubs such as Singapore and China by 2026.

The company’s data also supports this esports investment strategy. 73% of MENA-3 gamers are involved in some form of esports. This includes watching esports content, playing esports focused titles, and participating in amateur or professional tournaments. This indicates a broader appeal for competitive gaming in the region.

Specifically, approximately two in five gamers in the MENA-3 region watch esports content (41.7%) or play esports titles (40.7%). In addition, 12.4% of them participate in amateur or professional esports tournaments. Further investment and high-profile events are likely to drive engagement in esports, a necessary growth segment for the industry.

Regional differences and demographics

MENA-3’s audience is also driving its growth potential. Gaming continues to be heavily male-biased in the MENA-3 region—his 67.4% of gamers in MENA-3 are male compared to 53.7% of the population—viewers are young on average.

76% of gamers in the MENA-3 region are under the age of 35. Egypt in particular stands out, with a significantly higher percentage of gamers under the age of 25 compared to Saudi Arabia and he UAE. Additionally, Egypt has the largest gamer population and is the fastest growing market in MENA-3.

Saudi Arabia, by comparison, is the largest market for gaming revenue and is considered the region’s gaming powerhouse, according to Niko Partners. Of course, this is partially facilitated by his PIF investments. UAE, on the other hand, has the highest her ARPU among her three markets.

These results are based on a survey of 1,126 local gamers and interviews with local industry experts. His complete 100+ page report for Niko Partners on the MENA-3 region is now available.

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