The Rise of eSports Has Made Gaming Accessible and Attractive

In an exclusive interview, Paul Collins, the General Manager for MEA at Acer, speaks about the gaming market in the region and future predictions

What sort of market size do we have in the MEA region for gaming laptops and gaming PCs?
Looking at the Middle East region, specifically UAE, GCC, Saudi, Egypt and a few export markets, the pure gaming laptop market is 15,000 units a month sold to gamers. It is a little tougher to predict Africa and the gaming desktop market, due to the self-build nature of the environment.

How according to you is the market segmented between casual gamers, hardcore gamers, and professional gamers?
If we look at the PC user market, not taking mobile users into account, the split would be 70% casual gamers, 25% hardcore and 5% Semi Pro and Pro. The console and mobile market would be predominantly casual gaming.

What is a sweet price-point for gamers in the region when it comes to buying a gaming laptop or a PC?
The fastest moving segment at the moment is for a laptop with a 15-inch screen, an Intel Core i7 chipset and GTX 1650 graphics card. The price-point for these products and configurations is between $900 and $1000.

What will the regional gaming market size and growth rate be like in 2021?
We have seen very good growth over the past months and this will mean a record year in 2020. I expect that the market may grow a further 10 to 15% next year.

What are the key factors driving the regional gaming market?
Mobile has been the largest contributor to the gaming market in the past, and it’s great to see a move from mobile to other platforms in recent years. It appears that COVID-19 may also be a factor, as people are seeking more entertainment from home. We also see that team orientated games, such as 1st person shooters are gaining popularity with young adults and the team format is bringing more players into the fold, not to mention the rise of eSports which has made gaming far more accessible and attractive locally.

What are the challenges to market growth?
Speaking as a gaming PC manufacturer, the next generation consoles by Sony and Microsoft, in 2021 will be strong competition. This is still good for the overall market as there seems to be a natural evolution of players from console to PC over time. In general, some localised market uncertainty in our region can also provide short term challenges to business.

What sort of market opportunities and threats do you face as a gaming laptop and PC vendor in the regional gaming market?
The opportunities are endless, as we notice that the market has not followed a natural path. This means that there is an endless stream of new entrants to the market with people shifting from mobile phone gaming to other forms of gaming, females growing interest in gaming, E-Sports, and the entrance of formal gaming leagues in the ME. These opportunities stimulate growth for many years to come. We are also seeing a massive demand for gaming monitors and accessories such as headsets. Following this there will be demand in the future for 3D, VR, and new tech which will drive the business.

How is innovation driving the growth of the gaming market? Can you share specific innovations from Acer?
In the early years of gaming it was the race for more power and speed with size and weight being sacrificed. Now as power can be delivered in more compact units, the drive to “thin and light” devices is becoming more important. This means that innovations such as AeroBlade and Vortexflow – Acer’s patented cooling systems, are becoming technologies that set us apart from competitors. Low power chips from CPU and GPU manufacturer mean reasonably good battery life as well.

Some of our other innovations include the technologies featured in our monitors. There’s LightSense in which the monitor detects the amount of ambient light in the viewing environment and automatically adjusts its brightness settings to maximize viewing comfort. AdaptiveLight automatically adjusts the monitor’s backlights to suit the ambient light in the room, while ProxiSense reminds gamers to take a break after a set amount of time. For gamers, remaining competitive in terms of faster refresh rates and shorter response times is critical and so in line with that, we recently launched new Predator Gaming monitors which include up to 360 Hz refresh rate and a 0.5 ms (G to G) response time.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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