EMEA video gaming market to reach AED 32.3 billion in 2008 up by 18.4% over the last year

Published May 26th, 2008 - 10:15 GMT

The EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) is forecast  to generate sales of video game hardware (consoles and portable) worth AED 32.3 billion ($8.8 billion) this year up by 18.4 percent over that of last year, according to sales reports compiled by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)(R) and GfK, the market research group. The figures were released at the ongoing International CES/Hometech exhibition currently taking place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre till 27th May.


“Gaming is a very serious business and this news is a positive boost to exhibitors participating at the International CES/Hometech exhibition,” said Eckhard Pruy, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt GMBH, organizers of International CES/Hometech.


Worldwide video game hardware sales (console and portable devices) exceeded 81 million units in 2007. This year, CEA and the GfK Group forecast unit growth of 9.3 percent, yielding sales of nearly 89 million units and revenue of AED 90.6 billion ($24.7 billion USD). Add in gaming software for video game consoles and portables, and the worldwide revenues approaches AED 183.5 billion ($50 billion USD).”


Extensive research by Ericsson in the Middle East markets reveals that 32% of users in the UAE and Saudi Arabia play games at least once a week. These numbers outperform other mobile services like MMS, portal browsing and listening to music or even mobile TV.


Research showed gaming is very big business and universities, banks, clothing stores, soft drink manufacturers and airlines across the world are tapping into the gaming market to push their experience and brand image. It was projected that game advertising alone will witness striking growth from AED 293 million ($$80 million USD) in 2006 to AED 3.48 billion ($950 million USD) by 2011.


The International CES/Hometech is the ideal platform in the Middle East for the gaming market in 2008, to unlock the most recent advancements and trends. It will offer first-hand experience to its attendees, from the entire spectrum of the gaming industry. “The International CES/Hometech’s Gaming Zone features prominent gaming companies, a dedicated conference session, gaming championships, and many more gaming events; that emphasize on the importance of presenting the uncapped potential of this market towards the center of 2008, at the exhibition. It is the focal point of the year for the gaming industry," said Ms. Mehtap Kenar, Senior Show Manger of International CES/Hometech.


The International CES is the world's biggest platform for new technology and devices from the biggest innovators. For 41 years, the International CES® has been the must-attend event for new technology: almost every major consumer electronics advance has been launched at CES, including the VCR, CD player, DVD player, HDTV, satellite radio, Xbox, HDTV DVR and IPTV. Many of the more than 20,000 products launched at the 2008 International CES in Las Vegas, the world's largest technology tradeshow, will soon be on store shelves and in consumers' living rooms.


The International CES/Hometech Gaming Zone also plays host to a competitive gaming tournament that will see top computer gaming players and professionals from around the region pit their skills and reflexes in team and individual games. “The computer games industry has changed massively over the last ten years and it has truly planted both its feet in providing global entertainment for individuals, families and professionals. The International CES/Hometech’s Gaming Zone demonstrates that there really is a game for everyone to enjoy as well as showcasing some of the most talented gamers in the world.” said Jaffer Mir, CEO of Game Frontier.


The International CES/Hometech conference running concurrently with the International CES/Hometech expo, the biggest show of its kind in the Middle East, brings together the movers and shakers from the consumer electronics industry from around the world.


The theme of this year’s International CES/Hometech Conference session is ‘Global Trends, Regional Perspectives’. The conference features the topic - ‘The Drive for Gaming in 2008.’ This panel examines which new gaming platforms have been hot sellers for more than a year, and what’s next in line.


On the last day of the conference programme panelists Jaffer Mir and Armagan Demir from Microsoft Middle East will put the spotlight on the subject of “What does the near future hold for the computer games industry?”


They will also try to answer the question “Will online gaming and mobile gaming become mainstream or remain a niche?”; “What cool add-on will drive the market and become an essential for our living room?”; “Is there a place for social games and game based learning?” This session will be moderated by Michael Wombwell, CEO, Red Entertainment Distribution



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