Gaming Investments show promise in Turkey and MENA
Mita Srinivasan
10x Industry

Gaming Investments show promise in Turkey and MENA

Gaming's inherent global scalability, growing at an annual rate of 13.1 percent, is propelled by widespread smartphone adoption, increased internet accessibility, and enhanced payment alternatives across MENA, reports MAGNiTT. Turkey and MENA regions emerge as the next frontier for gaming ventures, with both witnessing substantial growth in funding and deals.

The latest report from MAGNiTT has unveiled a massive surge in gaming venture investments in Turkey and the MENA region, turning 2022 into an unparalleled year in terms of funding and transactions. While Turkey is home to gaming powerhouses like Dream Games and Peak Games, MENA's burgeoning market is fuelled by significant governmental incentives tailored for gamers, startups, and investors.

According to the report, Turkey’s gaming startups have accumulated over $1 billion in the past half-decade, marking a 263 percent surge in five-year CAGR. In contrast, MENA's gaming startups attracted $59 million since 2018, with 2022 alone amassing $25 million across 12 significant deals.

A striking 90 percent of Turkey's total funding came from its top 10 deals over the past five years. The remaining 10 percent still exceeds the entirety of MENA's capital deployment from 2018 to 2022. MENAT-based gaming startups have registered 19 exits, placing them fifth among other regional industries. The trend showcases leading gaming corporations, such as Zynga, making acquisitions of smaller startups.

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Philip Bahoshy, CEO of MAGNiTT, comments, "Turkey is undoubtedly the behemoth in this emerging venture gaming sector. But with a burgeoning young gaming demographic, MENA holds significant promise and might soon rise as an investor magnet." He further emphasizes the rapid evolution of MENA's gaming industry, buoyed by positive macroeconomic factors and currency stability.

Gaming's inherent global scalability, growing at an annual rate of 13.1 percent, is propelled by widespread smartphone adoption, increased internet accessibility, and enhanced payment alternatives. MENA, with its expansive potential, currently stands as the predominant geography in this sector.

Aleksei Antipov, Chief Business Development Officer at Fotrum, noted that according to the latest reports, interest in the sector and the market itself is growing. “KSA is a major player here, with many gaming events, tournaments, summits and forums organized with the support of the country's leader. The prize money is huge. The Emirates are also trying to take their place in this niche, the governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are carrying out activities, building gaming centres and sites for cyber sports tournaments.”

Fotrum is an e-sport competitive platform for mobile gaming and has been raising fund actively for about 3 months, SEED stage. Antipov added, “In general, the funds and investors we talked to want more obvious traction, client base and revenue in this region, they are not interested in our previous experience in the CIS.”

GAM3S.GG, formerly Polkastarter Gaming, recently announced that they had closed a $2 million seed funding round, led by Mechanism Capital with the participation of other major venture and angel investors. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi and a member of AD Gaming, an initiative guiding the growth of Abu Dhabi’s gaming sector, the successful seed funding round and the development of the web3 gaming superapp supports the emirate’s move to a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy.

In their communique, GAM3S.GG shared that throughout 2023, gaming industry giants have tested the waters of web3 gaming, with the likes of Zynga and Ubisoft working on the web3-native games. A large wave of new gamers entering the space is creating greater necessity for an aggregator such as GAM3S.GG. Moreover, gamers’ sentiment towards web3 gaming is shifting, and GAM3S.GG is building the hub to enable newcomers and natives alike to explore new frontiers and experiences within one single web3 gaming superapp. 

"The gaming industry is at a crossroads. While web3 offers new exciting possibilities, the lack of quality content and a singular destination for all your web3 gaming needs has left many gamers lost,” said Omar Ghanem, Co-Founder & CEO at GAM3S.GG.

The MAGNiTT report offers an intricate comparative analysis of the MENAT regions, touching upon player populations, Average Revenue Per User (ARPUs), investments, investor dynamics, and top deals, spotlighting the impressive exits in the MENAT gaming sphere.