DUBAI: China’s Tencent Games has chosen Dubai as regional headquarters for its Middle East and North Africa operations, with Dubai Internet City housing the gaming giant’s office.
Tencent Games was launched in 2003 and has since grown into a global platform for game development, publishing and operation. Its ownership stakes and alliances with many major video game companies includes Fornite, Ubisoft, Activision-Blizzard, Riot Games, Supercell and Take-Two Interactive Software.
The opening of Tencent Games’ regional headquarter is an indication of increased activities in the local and regional games industry which covers digital entertainment, education and cultural experiences, a statement said.
According to market research firm Newzoo, the revenue of the UAE games sector is estimated at $324 million (1.2 billion dirhams) in 2019. Furthermore, over 80 percent of smartphone users in the UAE play mobile games, it said.
The UAE has the highest mobile penetration rate in the world at 173 per cent – nearly double the country’s population, according to a report by Statista released in late 2018. This is a considerable figure and represents a wealth of opportunities for game developers, with revenues from mobile games representing more than half the income generated in the entire industry.
“Gaming moves beyond entertainment and is increasingly used to engage and educate, and as more gamers and creative enthusiasts enter the industry, we can certainly expect the market to develop rapidly in the coming years,” Ammar Al-Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City said.
Vincent Wang, general manager of the Global Publishing Department at Tencent Games, said: “The UAE’s high mobile and internet penetration is an extremely encouraging indicator for tech firms across the world, and is especially relevant to the global games industry.”