More than half a billion gamers live in the Middle East and Africa region, where the industry’s year-on-year revenue growth previously hit 25%, the highest in the world. Techxhub is founded by a 23 year industry veteran along with a team of Industry professionals and passionate gamers.
From its headquarters in Dubai, the distributer is getting into strategic partnerships across Middle East, Africa and India by bringing major accessory and peripherals brands to the region. And it has watched the gaming space move and morph. Kapoor noted that while mobile gaming has been on the rise, consoles and PCs are not yet out for the count. And developments in the industry that have attracted major activity by global technology and content behemoths are making the sector more alluring to jobseekers.
“With giants like Netflix and Google deciding to move into the gaming arena, other industry stalwarts are bound to join the fray,” Kapoor said. “Also, with esports getting more and more exposure around the world, the younger audience members are becoming more confident in choosing esports as a long-term career.”
Kapoor sees gaming as one of the fastest growing subcategories within technology and he expects this trend to continue throughout 2020 and beyond. One factor that will heavily influence gaming’s ascendancy will be cloud gaming, which offers a cost-effective delivery system to end users.
“With so much buzz around cloud gaming, fans are set to witness a complete change in the industry’s ecosystem,” he predicted. “Also, new and exciting technologies and ways to play, such as Google Stadia, Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass, and Microsoft’s cloud gaming solution, makes us believe that the market is quite healthy, and poised for more growth.”
One of the few challenges Kapoor sees for the Middle East gaming industry is parental perceptions of gaming activity and content.
“The majority of parents are not too keen on letting their kids play video games, for various reasons,” he said. “But having more parent-child workshops can help to stress the positives while constructively airing the negatives.”
Mobile gaming continues to pick up steam, and could be a $2.3 billion market in MENA by 2022. But will the PlayStation and Xbox end up taking back seats to the tablet and smartphone?
Kapoor said: “The growth in mobile gaming has been happening for quite a few years now, owing to factors such as easy access, affordable devices and better connectivity. Though this segment of gaming will continue growing more in emerging markets, console gaming doesn’t seem to get affected. However, with next-generation consoles having just been announced for Q4 2020, sales might be sluggish for the intervening period as consumers wait for refreshed versions.”
The distribution segment of the gaming industry, where Techxhub operates, will likely be abuzz with opportunities and challenges. And the company’s unique business model will likely play a major role in its ability to effectively capitalise on the coming changes.
“We aren’t a traditional distribution house,” Kapoor explained. “We focus on ecosystem-based demand creation, channel-based customisation and solution-based customer propositions. Our approach for 2020 will not be limited to hardware and retail. We are partnering with the esports community to develop an environment that will maximise choice for consumers and allow them to experience our brands at venues other than brick-and-mortar stores. For example, we organised some tournaments last quarter at Middle East Games Con and we hosted a Let’s Play event.”
Other changes in the pipeline for 2020 Middle East gamers could include revolutions in the way they pay for content. Esports analytics company NewZoo expects subscription-based services to take over from up-front purchase models in the coming years, as has been seen with music and TV content, through providers such as Spotify, Pandora, Netflix and Amazon. In-game monetisation will become the main channel through which game developers and publishers generate revenues.