Middle East

Saudi gamers find their home on TikTok

Fahd Almagrabi*

As Saudi Arabia establishes itself as a gaming powerhouse in the Gulf, it attracts a range of stakeholders, from the kingdom’s sovereign wealth funds and global gaming companies to world-renowned gamers in the region’s gaming industry. Being involved shows its increasing importance to the country.

The gaming community is expected to reach 20 million gamers nationwide by 2025, according to a RedSeer report. This fast-growing industry has generated growing interest from citizens and residents across Saudi Arabia. Activities across digital platforms.

Gamers have always been a very engaged community and are happy to share recommendations, tips and tricks, and video content online.

And with the variety of online platforms available today, the question arises as to which one is right for gamers and provides a space to express their passions and connect with the wider community.

Consider this: A week before the release of “Before Your Eyes,” an emotional game story about a family in crisis as players physically blink and move from scene to scene, TikTok , an account for Wholesome Games, an organization that promotes “uplifting, thoughtful”. The game posted a video about it.

The video went viral, garnering more than 1.5 million views in just a few days, and overall surpassing its counterparts on YouTube and Twitter.

And this happened in the early days when the gaming community embraced TikTok warmly and without hesitation.

Since then, the platform has evolved rapidly to become the hottest destination for the gamer community. Gamers today flock to his TikTok to find and create memes, show off their gaming skills, and spark conversations that shape and redefine gaming culture.

TikTok today is a place where gaming and culture collide and talk.

According to a RedSeer report, the gaming industry is growing at lightning speed, with the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) being one of the fastest growing regions, with a market value of around $5 billion and an estimated 328 million gamers.

With its creative and engaging content, TikTok has grown into a new hub for hosting this community of game publishers, creators and gamers around the world, making it an incredibly powerful platform for advertisers. rice field.

That’s because TikTok’s advertiser offering is unique, supporting creative and organic campaigns that foster global collaboration between brands, creators and the people who play the game. TikTok makes it easy to share this content, making it a platform full of engagement possibilities.

That’s why it’s a new destination for gamers and advertisers worldwide, and nowhere is it more evident than in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

According to RedSeer’s State of Gaming report, 60% of the region’s adult internet population uses games, which equates to 16 million players in the kingdom.

However, when it comes to PC and console adoption, KSA and UAE consoles contribute only 30% of the value. With the US console industry accounting for his 50% of contributions, TikTok certainly shows there is room for growth. area.

Even more encouraging, the report shows that gaming has no age or gender. KSA’s gaming community reaches 60% of Gen X and 73% of Gen Z. Willing to spend on entertainment compared to their male counterparts.

Harnessing the power of TikTok also means harnessing the power of mobile. This is a very useful synergy to attract gamers, especially in a country like KSA where smartphone penetration is high.

According to Newzoo’s Global Gaming Market Report, produced in collaboration with TikTok, mobile is expected to generate $93.2 billion in revenue in 2021 and grow to more than $116 billion by 2024, surpassing sales on PC and consoles. We continue to outpace growth. Not only is mobile clearly the world’s largest and fastest growing gaming platform in terms of both player count and revenue, but it also represents a huge opportunity for all companies involved in gaming.

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, MENA’s top 100 gaming hashtags received a staggering 105 billion video views. This represents a 35% year-on-year increase in viewership.

This surge of interest is where TikTok comes in, the perfect place to empower creators and users to be their true selves, where brands of all sizes can share moments of joy and share passion-centered connections with the TikTok community. provide a platform.

In other words, TikTok is a space where gaming communities support each other and make genuine connections through shared interests.

While doing so, gamers can’t help but discover new brands and products. Fueling the discoveries on TikTok is the concept of short-burst, full-screen, sound-on entertainment.

This is strongly supported by the findings of the Newzoo whitepaper, which shows that by 2024 the Middle East & Africa and Latin America will be the two fastest growing mobile gaming markets, 1.6 times faster than the global average from 2019. It turns out that it grows at -2024.

The study found that between the first quarter of 2020 and the same period in 2021, gamers spend five times more time watching on TikTok and almost four times more time creating the best gaming content. .

In good news for gamers at KSA, viewership growth in the top 100 most popular gaming topics on TikTok in the Middle East and Africa increased by a staggering 841% during the pandemic.

Additionally, advertisers found that TikTok gamers installed 50% more games, spent 36% longer in games per week, were 66% more likely to pay for games, and 40% more likely to pay for add-ons. I was.

As a platform, TikTok also provides additional support for creators in local gaming spaces. In 2021, we partnered with NASR Esports to spotlight gaming content that reached millions of users across the Middle East gaming audience.

In a few years, the entire gaming community — from console to mobile gamers, hardcore gamers to hyper-casual, Hall of Famers to first-time novices — has come to call TikTok home, unique and authentic in shaping the game. to express myself. The culture of the region and beyond.

As a result, not only TikTok but the entire community of gamers triumphed. The positive impact that gaming brands’ creativity and storytelling have on the platform has paved the way for them to connect meaningfully with their communities.

As gamers and brands in Saudi Arabia prepare for an exciting journey, TikTok continues to create a space where the community can share their creativity, tips and tricks, and trends shaping the future of the gaming industry, making the platform a place for gaming. I assure you it will continue to exist. And cultures converge and talk.

— Fahad Almaghrabi is Head of Business Partnerships, Global Business Solutions for TikTok in Saudi Arabia.

https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/624200/TECHNOLOGY/Saudi-gamers-find-their-home-base-on-TikTok?ref=rss&format=simple&link=link Saudi gamers find their home on TikTok

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