Nine66 Game Developers Survey finds Saudi Arabia games development market has vast potential

Nine66, a Savvy Games Group firm that offers the games industry resources and services like network, publishing, skills development, and funding, today announced the launch of the first-ever qualitative Game Developers Survey which has discovered the vast potential in the games development market of Saudi Arabia.

This Game Developers Survey was conducted by Nine66 to understand better the environment for current game development studios in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as their shared traits, primary difficulties, and sources of inspiration.

This is the first survey to produce insights into Saudi Arabian game development studios

This study is the first to offer information about Saudi Arabian game development studios and the ecosystem’s state at the moment. Despite the fact that there are many studios in the area, there are only 24 as opposed to 5,000 in Europe and 3,084 in the US, despite the fact that 83% of local studios believe the process of starting a business to be simple or easy. Key findings include:

  • The number of game development studios in Saudi Arabia has almost doubled from 13 to 24 in the past year as a result of incubator programs such as GameChangers.
  • There is a strong collaborative spirit in KSA. 84% of the interviewees have collaborated with other local developers at some point, mainly after meeting them at events (game jams, meet-ups, conferences, etc.) or after connecting via social media.
  • Respondents believe free-to-play is the business model of the future. This is despite the majority of indie developers right now building premium games for PC.
  • Access to funding has been challenging for some developers as investors either do not fully understand the sector or have been hesitant to invest in gaming companies perceived to be unproven.
  • Local developers’ most pressing needs include additional financial help and recruitment inside and outside the wider MENA region.
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The domestic market for video games in the MENA region is expanding at the fastest rate in the world, boasting an estimated 377 million players, more than both Europe (386 million) and America combined. The readiness of regional businesses to take the next step in their growth journey is a reflection of the demand for locally produced talent and video games. Nine66 is utilizing the results from the survey and its expertise to help foster future initiatives and growth throughout MENA.

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