Video Game Industry: Statistics, Demographics and Trends in Pakistan

Asia is the world’s biggest video games market – 45% of gamers are based there – and Pakistan is an emerging player. Gaming industry revenue in Pakistan has more than doubled since 2017 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.

Video game industry statistics in Pakistan

Here is a fascinating insight into video games industry growth in Pakistan using data from Statista:

  • The number of gamers in Pakistan is estimated to be 36.8 million (16% of the population) in 2022 and this is predicted to rise to 50.9 million gamers (20.6% of the population) by 2026.
  • Video game industry revenue in Pakistan is projected to reach US$208.70 million in 2022 and show an annual growth rate of 2.17% from 2022-26 resulting in an estimated annual revenue of US$227.40 million by 2026.
  • The average spend per person in Pakistan is expected to be US$5.67 in 2022 which is lower than many other global markets but on a par with neighbouring India.
  • Pakistan is a mobile-first gaming market – mobile games are expected to generate US$171.30 million in 2022 compared with US$21.34 million for online games and US$16.13 million for download games.

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.

Video game industry demographics in Pakistan

It is interesting to look at who plays video games (demographics) in Pakistan to understand what is driving market growth:

  • Gaming is a more popular pastime for men than women in Pakistan. In 2021, 76.9% of gamers were male and 23.1% were female.

  • Playing video games is an activity currently enjoyed by younger people in Pakistan:

    18-24 years old – 44%

    25-34 years old – 43.1%

    35-44 years old – 12.9%

    In future, gaming is likely to appeal to older age groups in Pakistan as today’s gamers continue playing into their fifties and beyond.

  • Gaming is accessible to people of all socio-economic groups in Pakistan and there is not much difference between the percentage of lower and higher earners who play:

    Low income – 39.6% of gamers

    Medium income – 22.5% of gamers

    High income – 37.9% of gamers

Video game industry trends in Pakistan

Here are three trends that are influencing the future direction of gaming in Pakistan:

Growth of esports

The rise of esports in Pakistan is partly attributed to two professional esports players who have put the country on the world stage. 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 status.” 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 league.

Specialist game development courses

Until fairly recently, video game development in Pakistan had been held back due to a lack of training and development opportunities. 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 Culture, Arena Multimedia Pakistan, PixelArt Game Academy and Habib University. 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.

Employment opportunities for women

Several game developers in Pakistan are employing a higher percentage of females than many other countries worldwide. Islamabad-based We R Play Studios, currently has a 39% female workforce. 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 nationally.

Specialist resources for mental health professionals

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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