Ara­bic gam­ing boom as Twitch streams surge in Mideast

Arab News - - Business News -

The COVID-19 lock­down in the Mid­dle East has sparked an Ara­bic gam­ing boom with Twitch streams in the lan­guage more than dou­bling dur­ing March and April.

The video site, which al­lows users to broad­cast their game­play live to fans around the world, recorded a to­tal of 62,582 ac­tive streams as coun­tries across the re­gion fol­lowed strict so­cial dis­tanc­ing rules, mean­ing more time spent at home for gamers. Dur­ing March, Twitch streams in Ara­bic in­creased by 95.3 per­cent yearon-year and 36.9 per­cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous month, while in April the yearly in­crease was 109.9 per­cent. The fig­ures point to a gam­ing surge across the Mid­dle East, with many of the top play­ers com­ing from Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE and Bahrain. David Parker, co-chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer at Bahrain Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Board, said: “With the world’s fastest grow­ing gam­ing mar­ket and a thriv­ing tech ecosys­tem, the Mid­dle East is on an­other level when it comes to op­por­tu­ni­ties for de­vel­op­ers.”

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