The GCC gaming opportunity

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Given its meteoric rise in recent years, it hardly seemed feasible that the video gaming industry could grow at an even faster pace. The COVID-19 pandemic has put paid to such a lack of imagination. With so many confined indoors, a remarkable one in five of the world’s population, some 1.5 billion people, have been playing video games every single day.
Esports have surged in popularity, as have cloud gaming platforms. GCC telecom operators are ideally placed to capitalize on this flourishing market. To do so, they need to upgrade their infrastructure, form cloud gaming partnerships, capture the eSports opportunity, and invest in localizing content and developing games.
Gaming activity has skyrocketed during enforced lockdown. Verizon reported a 75% increase in online gaming during peak hours in the U.S., while stc recorded a 300% growth in gaming traffic in Saudi Arabia. The live streaming game platform Twitch clocked up three billion hours of gaming in the first quarter of 2020—its largest quarter ever. Hordes of customers hungry for gaming entertainment have devoured new releases. Newzoo now forecasts that annual global gaming revenue will reach over $200 billion by 2023, almost double the $118 billion figure of 2018.
The gaming industry has responded energetically to the …

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