2020 revenues for gaming globally reached over 159.3 billion US Dollars. with almost half of market earnings generated by the Asia Pacific region. APAC was accountable for almost half the total earnings, driven by key marketing strategy, enthusiastic audiences and high demand from its 1.5 billion gamers.
The number of Middle East gamers as of 2021 is estimated at a little over 100 million, which in a multi-billion-dollar industry with cult followings and a massive internet penetration in the MENA region means gaming in the GCC is as certain a growth area as any investment can be.
Gaming in the MENA region is estimated to be worth $4.5bn. Newzoo reports there were 2.69 billion gamers in the world by the end of 2020. Growth has been steady with an average of 5.6% year-on-year increase. 2021 figures are forecast to reach 2.81 billion gamers that will earn the global games market an estimated $189.3 billion.
New technologies are continually opening up the gaming industry to more people by offering new ways to play, pay and engage. The global video game industry is now larger than global film and music industries combined, and the introduction of new culture and technology elements, such as NFTs and blockchain services and systems, means brands can better communicate clearer and more direct to their consumers than ever.
Each gaming audience uses social media differently, and learning these behaviours is crucial to know how to market to your audience and build up a sense of community. As a general rule:
- More people watched gaming content on YouTube in 2020 than ever before. YouTube’s outreach in Southeast Asia and Latin America, as well as the rise of prominent esports contests now being streamed on YouTube as well as Twitch, has also helped YouTube find a huge market for mobile game streaming
- Twitter is more commonly used for news
- Instagram is more focused on community updates and user-generated content such as fan art
- Facebook remains popular for studio promotions and ad placements
- Discord allows brands to create their own channels and connect with fans directly; offering exclusive server-only deals and promotions
- Native content has proven successful with Twitch streamers
- Influencer marketing has reached almost every industry and gaming is no exception. Twitch (the world’s largest live streaming platform), YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming provide the biggest stages for gaming influencers, with members streaming themselves and being paid big money to do so. With 48% of gamers admitting they prefer watching gaming videos to playing them, there’s a strong case for gaming studios to include influencers in their marketing strategy.