Egypt’s games market is still in its infancy, but is struggling to grow in the face of stifling tax rates and widespread piracy.
Recent data is hard to come by for the Egyptian games business, but market tracker Newzoo estimates that the sector will generate $95.8 million (62.9m)in games revenue this year.
Much like the UK, sports and shooter titles are among the most popular genres. This is partly driven by their easy availability compared to other types of game, which often launch months after their Western release.
However, a universal problem is pricing. PS3 and Xbox 360 games often retail for around 600 Egyptian pounds (EGP) (67).
This means they remain a premium purchase for many, costing around half of the minimum monthly wage for the country’s public sector workers – 1,200EGP (101).
The excessive cost of games is driven by a high tax rate, forcing retailers to raise the price of software and hardware – pricing them out of the reach of most Egyptian players.
The high cost has fuelled a thriving black market for games, where software is available for as little as 20EGP (1.68).
Other gamers have taken to social media sites such as Facebook to import titles from Europe and America via third-party sellers for a lower price.
Although selling games is a problem in Egypt, making games is taking off.
The region’s most prominent development studio is Instinct Games, which was commissioned by Ark: Survival Evolved creator Studio Wildcard to assist with development of the smash hit PC title.
Capital City: Cairo
Currency: Egyptian Pound
GDP (Per Capita): $3,724
Virgin Megastore, Game Valley, Play N Trade, Game Bazar, Gamesword, Gamerzlounge, Game Arcade Egypt, Games4Egypt
Al Alamia Electronics, Electrohap, Pluto Games
Instinct Games, Funwave Games, AppsInnovate, Nezal Entertainment, Spyros Games
PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION
Game Power 7, Microsoft, Sony, EA