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 8,00,000 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.
And so, AdColony EMEA partnered with OnDevice to conduct a survey of mobile gamers and mobile gaming habits in the region.
Here are the highlights:
- 86% of Centennials and 79% of Gen Xers in the UAE and 88% of centennials and 50% of Gen Xers in KSA identify as people who play games on their mobile device
- UAE mobile gamers spend on average 20 to 40 minutes a day playing, while Saudi mobile gamers spend 10 to 20 minutes playing
- The majority of those who play mobile games every day in UAE and KSA do so 5 times or more
- 77% of UAE and Saudi mobile gamers play at home
- 85% in the UAE and 80% in Saudi prefer watching video ads for extra lives and/or in-game content in general
- 84% females and 87% males in the UAE and 89% of females and 93% of males in KSA said they play games on their mobile devices
- 8pm to 11pm is the peak time to play mobile games for gamers in the UAE and KSA
The 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.
Mobile games present a unique opportunity for advertisers during Ramadan, “which is a big income maker for mobile 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,” says Michael Ward, chief operating officer at OnDevice Research.
Samantha Billingham, regional sales director at AdColony EMEA explains that the gaming industry is no longer niche due to the improvements in hardware and introduction of mobile gaming. “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,” she says.
With UAE boasting the highest levels of smartphone penetration (80.6 percent) in 2017 and total of 7.5 million people with smartphones, the opportunity is huge. “Over 80 percent 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,” adds Ward.