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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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declining gaming revenues bring middle east opportunities
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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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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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