Asia is the world’s biggest video games market – 45% of gamers are based there1 – and Pakistan is an emerging player. Gaming industry revenue in Pakistan has more than doubled since 20172 and it is expected to continue growing, albeit at a slower rate, over the next few years.
This blog outlines the latest video game statistics, demographics and trends, and looks at how popular is gaming in Pakistan.
Here is a fascinating insight into video games industry growth in Pakistan using data from Statista3:
If you like to know more about the worldwide gaming market, read our article on key statistics, demographics and trends in the global video game industry.
It is interesting to look at who plays video games (demographics) in Pakistan5 to understand what is driving market growth:
Here are three trends that are influencing the future direction of gaming in Pakistan:
The rise of esports in Pakistan is partly attributed to two professional esports players who have put the country on the world stage6. In 2015, Syed Sumail “Sumail” Hassan, a professional Dota 2 player, became the youngest person to win US$1 million in a tournament. Pakistani Tekken player Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique then went on to win the Evo Japan 2019 championship and was awarded the Best Player of 2019 by EPSN. He is currently the CEO 2021 champion.
In early 2021, the Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, posted this statement on Twitter: “A memorandum has been signed between Pakistan Sports Board and Pakistan Science Foundation after which esports will get regular sports status7.” The update went on to say: “If you are interested in video games, get ready and new opportunities are waiting for you.”
In April 2022, UAE-based esports organization, Galaxy Racer, announced the launch of a new esports league in Pakistan. The Supreme Galactic League will take place from August to October 2022 and has been described as Pakistan’s first-ever professional esports league8.
Until fairly recently, video game development in Pakistan had been held back due to a lack of training and development opportunities9. Most courses at higher education institutions focused on irrelevant, out of date case studies delivered by lecturers with little or no gaming experience. They were unfamiliar with the latest industry standards and trends, ill-equipped to provide guidance on career pathways and unable to facilitate practical work experience in the sector. However, several institutes are now offering specialist game development programs including the Institute for Arts and Culture10, Arena Multimedia Pakistan11, PixelArt Game Academy12 and Habib University13. These courses include teaching by game design professionals and internships within the industry. Such educational opportunities bode well for video game industry growth in Pakistan and will enable the country to compete on the world stage.
Several game developers in Pakistan are employing a higher percentage of females14 than many other countries worldwide. Islamabad-based We R Play Studios, currently has a 39% female workforce15. According to Aljazeera, women reportedly make up only 3% of programmers and 11% of video game designers in the US. We R Play founder, Mohsin Afzal said: “If there are two candidates that are pretty much equal in all aspects, we always default to more diversity.” The company offers family-friendly benefits including three months paid maternity leave and allows female staff to work from home afterwards. We R Play is not the only gaming studio in Pakistan with a higher-than-average number of females in tech roles. Tintash – the company behind the popular Stick Cricket mobile game – also recognizes the benefits of employing women and they represent 25% percent of its workforce. At CaramelTech Studios, 23% of staff are women which is higher than the 14% of women who work in IT nationally16.
As the number of gamers in Pakistan continues to rise, so does the prevalence of problematic gaming. It is estimated that 3% of the world’s 3.4 billion gamers suffer from gaming disorder. Mental health professionals need access to specialist training to treat the growing number of gamers seeking support.
INTENTA’s mental health resources, equip professionals with the skills and tools to help vulnerable players and their families find a healthier relationship with gaming. Discover evidence-based strategies to break down barriers and help your clients regain control of their gaming habits.
Find out more about our internationally-accredited Gaming Disorder Clinical Training today.
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