The United States, Asia and Europe have traditionally been the biggest markets for the gaming industry, but things are slowly changing.
Several nations in the Middle East are on a mission to grab a piece of the pie by investing massive resources into creating an infrastructure for gaming to flourish.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are inevitably at the forefront of the push and their vast wealth could transform the gaming landscape over the next few years.
With that in mind, read on as we assess some of the key gaming trends to watch in the Middle East, starting with one that is already a global phenomenon.
There has been heavy investment in mobile gaming in the Middle East, with several nations striving to cash in on what is undoubtedly a favourable demographic.
In some countries in the region almost half of the population are under 25, and they are eager to engage with the latest digital developments.
Significant resources have been ploughed into mobile game development in the region, with a view to creating suitable content for Arabic audiences.
Mobile multiplayer games are expected to become big business in the Middle East, particularly those that have been developed with more than a passing nod to local culture.
The associated iGaming industry is another sector which is poised to benefit massively from the Middle East’s desire to become a big player in gaming.
Several countries are in the process of establishing a suitable licensing and regulatory framework that will allow iGaming businesses operate legally in the area.
Sites such as YYY Casino already accept customers in the region and they will benefit hugely from the creation of a formal iGaming infrastructure in the Middle East.
More operators will jump on the bandwagon over the coming years, which will help to make the Middle East one of the top regions for iGaming.
Virtual Reality Gaming
Virtual reality (VR) has long been tipped to be ‘next big thing’ in technology, but it is yet to truly cross fully into the mainstream in most countries worldwide.
Developers have struggled to get to grips with the potential of this emerging technology, leading to the supporting hardware often delivering a hugely underwhelming experience.
The technological issues have slowly been ironed out in recent years and VR finally looks ready to make its mark in gaming and several other industries.
VR gaming innovations have been heavily showcased at recent technology events in the Middle East and this sector looks poised to boom over the next few years.
It does not seem too long ago that the idea of people making a living out of playing video games was nothing more than a flight of fancy.
Fast forward to today and the burgeoning eSports industry is one of the most lucrative growth sectors on the planet.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have recognised the potential in eSports, investing billions of dollars into innovations in this area.
With eSports likely to become a permanent part of the Olympic movement in the future, Middle East nations will be desperate to be involved.