Video games in the UAE
It’s one of the fastest growing industries in the country, and Abu Dhabi has just announced a partnership to build a huge studio for multi-player online games.
August 5, 2009 6:42 by Aarti Nagraj
Internationally, Nintendo’s sales were down by more than 50 percent compared to last year, while Sony’s Playstation sales dropped by a third thanks to the global financial crisis. But things are not horribly wrong; according to Nielsen’s Video Game Tracking survey carried out in July this year, 42 percent of gamers (aged between seven and 54) claim to be playing more or plan to play more than last year. Also, 35 percent of gamers claim they are spending more money or plan to spend more on gaming this year than last year.
In the UAE, video games have become one of youth’s most popular ways to spend time, prompting media articles with doctors and other experts advising on why the habit is bad and parents complaining about how their children don’t play outside anymore.
But the industry itself has benefitted hugely in the country. According to the Nielsen Global Online Consumer survey, consumers from the UAE top the Middle East in terms of purchasing PC games. Companies in the UAE are now developing local games and entering deals with international gaming firms to bring better technologies into the country.