UAE - Chinese Internet firm Tencent and PUBG Mobile, one of the most popular games, jointly released a whitepaper that highlights the future of the games industry and its ecosystem and illustrates the contribution that video games are making to regional economic and social development.

The whitepaper, which incorporates market research from global games and e-sports analytics company Newzoo, reveals that the Middle East and Africa games market will reach total revenues of $4.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $6 billion by 2021, while the total global market, which includes games revenue from all platforms including mobile games, console and PC games, is expected to be worth $148.8 billion in 2019.

The Future of the Games Industry & Ecosystem whitepaper includes an overview of the regional games market. It also looks at the future prospects for the video games sector, including the rise of mobile gaming and cross platform gaming, the growth of e-sports in the region, and the potential of games to bring positive benefits for economic and social development.

Vincent Wang, general manager of the global publishing department and head of PUBG Mobile at Tencent Games, said: "With the increase in the penetration of mobile phones, the way of how people consume media is changing. As one of the leading Internet technology companies in the world, we believe that technological advancements can boost the evolution of how people entertain."

The whitepaper examines the potential of the games market in the region, to both to look at the market in terms of revenue, and also to consider other areas where games are bringing benefits. Games are becoming one of the major economic contributors to digital economies; they have become the primary entertainment choice for many people, and games are also reaching into new areas such as education and the workplace, to increase engagement and interaction, and enable new and exciting ways of interacting with the world around us.

The whitepaper was launched during a keynote address and panel discussion as part of ON.DXB, the new regional film, game, video and music festival which took place at Dubai Studio City.

The panel comprised of experts on games and related sectors, including Vincent Wang; Tom Wijman, senior market analyst at NewZoo; Jim Liu, expert lecturer at the Tencent Institute of Games; Rafed Salem, head of localisation at Riot Games; and Dr Hock Chuan Lim, assistant professor at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. The panel discussed the opportunities of the regional games market, and other topics including the contribution of games to the digital economy of the region and the positive impact of games on education and career development.

Newzoo's primary consumer research surveyed more than 62,500 respondents across 30 key countries, which account for more than 90 per cent of global game revenues.

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