Newzoo analysts have found out that Saudi Arabia is very fond of video games. More than three-quarters of the country’s online population consider themselves gamers. At the same time, the lion’s share of players chooses mobile.

The company shared the research on its blog. In it, Newzoo talked about gaming demographics, payment habits, genre preferences, reasons for the game and the attitude of Saudi gamers to brands*.

We have selected the main thing from the report:

  • In total, about 21.1 million gamers live in Saudi Arabia. Over the past year, they spent more than $1 billion on games (an increase of 41.1% compared to 2019);
  • although mobile is the most popular platform in the country, many gamers also play on consoles and PCs;
  • the proportion of women and men among the players is approximately the same for all platforms. The most noticeable difference is that of console gamers. In the console segment, there are 8% more men than women;
  • According to Newzoo estimates, almost a quarter of the online population of Saudi Arabia plays on smartphones at least five days a week. At the same time, only 10% of residents play consoles and PCs with the same regularity;

Distribution of online gaming audience Saudi Arabia by PlatformsNewzoo did not disclose how many paying players there are in the country.

  • But analysts noted that there are quite a lot of them. The largest share of paying players relative to non-paying ones turned out to be in the console segment. However, in mobile, the total number of active users turned out to be so large that this platform was leading in terms of profit;
  • There are quite a few “minnows” among the mobile online population of Saudi Arabia – 32% of the entire online audience. For comparison, in Western Europe, this share is only 18%;
  • the number of mobile “whales” in the country is also significant — 12%. There are only 4 of them in Western Europe%;
  • Nevertheless, the largest share of “whales” in relation to “dolphins” and “minnows” was concentrated in the console segment — 18% of the entire online population of Saudi Arabia. For PC, the same indicator is at the level of 14%.

The share of paying players relative to the online audience of Saudi Arabiathe most attractive genre for gamers in the country is mobile puzzles.

  • They are played by 39% of the online population of Saudi Arabia at once;
  • sports tiles for smartphones are slightly behind (34%). Racing is in third place (31%), and adventure games are in fourth place (29%);
  • the most popular franchise is FIFA;
  • the main motives for the game are the residents of Saudi Arabia: the desire to “kill time” (35%), socialization (29%), the desire to get rid of routine (29%) and the thirst for competition (26%);
  • Interestingly, in Saudi Arabia, gamers are much more supportive of brands when compared with non-gamers. Moreover, they are not only positive about tech companies like Apple, Amazon and Intel, but also everyone else. For example, 81% of players think well of Nike. Whereas ordinary residents are only in 60% of cases positively disposed towards this brand.

*Newzoo relied on data it received from residents of major cities in Saudi Arabia. The age of respondents is 10-50 years old.