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Declining Gaming Revenues Bring Middle East Opportunities

The global gaming industry faces plenty of challenges, but the Middle East’s investments have resulted in growth opportunities and regional resilience.

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Ask a casual observer about the state of the gaming industry, and they’ll likely tell you that it’s in fine health. After all, this vast landscape of big-studio and indie developers, consoles, and cloud-based services rakes in billions each year.

However, despite headline-grabbing news such as Microsoft’s recent $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a closer examination reveals several underlying challenges. Despite initial surges during the pandemic, gaming usage and revenues have declined due to factors like inflation. Business Insider recently reported a 2.3% decrease in US gaming revenue in 2023 compared to the previous year, signaling a shift in consumer behavior that includes reduced gaming hours per week.

Analyst Matthew Ball’s assessment of the industry’s state highlights a concerning trend of layoffs, with a significant increase observed in 2024. Substantial cuts within Microsoft Gaming have impacted approximately 8% of its workforce. Meanwhile, key departures from Blizzard add to the industry’s instability.

While these layoffs have global implications, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region presents a unique opportunity amidst the industry’s challenges. With a rapidly growing gaming market and substantial government investments, countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE are aiming to establish themselves as global hubs.

Also Read: Top 10 Best Video Games Set In The Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group, backed by a $38 billion investment from PIF, seeks to bolster the Kingdom’s gaming industry and emerge as a global leader. Similarly, the UAE’s ambitious Dubai Program for 2033 aims to position Dubai among the top 10 cities in the gaming industry by boosting its digital economy and GDP.

These initiatives could offer insulation against the industry’s turbulence while creating growth opportunities for regional gaming companies. By diversifying their economies and investing in long-term development, Middle Eastern countries are demonstrating a strategic approach distinct from the short-term profit-driven motives seen elsewhere in the industry.

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Adobe Teases New AI Editing Tools And Updates In Premiere Pro

The video editing app will be enhanced with a generative extend tool, text-to-video, improved timeline waveforms, and more.

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adobe teases new ai editing tools and updates in premiere pro
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After launching the generative AI model Firefly last year, Adobe is now showcasing how the technology will be used in upcoming versions of the editing app Premiere Pro. In an early sneak peek, the company demonstrated several new features, including Object Addition and Removal, Generative Extend, and Text to Video.

The first new feature, Generative Extend, targets a common video editing problem by using AI to “Seamlessly add frames to make clips longer, so it’s easier to perfectly time edits and add smooth transitions”.

Meanwhile, Premiere Pro’s Object Addition & Removal tool will leverage Firefly’s generative AI to “Simply select and track objects, then replace them. Remove unwanted items, change an actor’s wardrobe or quickly add set dressings such as a painting or photorealistic flowers on a desk,” Adobe states.

Adobe also showcased another new feature that can automatically generate new film clips using a text prompt. To use the content creation tool, editors can “Simply type text into a prompt or upload reference images. These clips can be used to ideate and create storyboards, or to create B-roll for augmenting live action footage,” Adobe explained. The company seems to be commercializing this particular feature extremely quickly, considering generative AI video only appeared a few months ago.

Also Read: UGREEN Unveils Nexode RG 65W Charger For Middle East

The new additions to Premiere Pro will be added later this year, but Adobe is also introducing smaller improvements to the editing app in May. The changes include interactive fade handles to enable easier transitions, an Essential Sound badge that uses AI to “automatically tag audio clips as dialogue, music, sound effects or ambience, and add a new icon so editors get one-click, instant access to the right controls for the job”, along with effect badges and a new look for waveforms in the timeline.

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