Gamasutra: “What You Need to Know About Breaking into the Arab Market”

December 10, 2012

Though you rarely hear news about the Arab game industry, video games are booming in the Middle East/North African market, just like they are in many other regions around the world. Last year, games generated an estimated $900 million (out of $24 billion for the global market).

Joe Minton at Digital Development Management, which helps partners release their games to the Middle East and other countries all over world, notes that the area had been off the map when it comes to video games for so long. A lot of companies haven't paid attention to the market's progress in recent years as a result.

"Just five to seven years ago, you didn't hear about licensing games to the Middle East," Minton tells Gamasutra. "And if you did, it was just getting stuff to one broker to handle the whole region for a teeny amount of money. It was considered a throwaway because of piracy, because there weren't Xboxes and PlayStations to any sufficient quantities."

A number of factors have allowed digital games to explode in the Arab market, however, like the huge youth population, the high level of disposable income in places like Turkey and the Gulf states, and the increasing availability of payment methods like credit and prepaid cards.