Middle East, North Africa 'growing like crazy'

Peak Games co-founder Rina Onur explains relevant local, cross-platform strategy key to harnessing growth
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Peak Games says the Middle East and North Africa have shown remarkable growth as a games market, with Turkey and the Gulf region countries leading the way.

Speaking to the [a]list daily, Peak Games co-founder and chief strategy officer Rina Onur said that her company has over 300,000 concurrent users and 11.8 million daily active users in the region, which she says is “growing like crazy.”

One of the biggest factors in making the middle east a viable market has been the rise of digital consumerism in Turkey.

"We consider Turkey a significant player in the MENA region," Onur said.

"Turkey will continue its rapid growth both in terms of Internet and smartphone/tablet penetration. The MENA region has the second highest rate of smartphone shipments out of Asia, so the region is growing like crazy. Following Turkey are Gulf region countries such as Saudi Arabia and Emirates. These countries will continue to grow both on PC and mobile; that's why opportunities are almost limitless here."

The Peak Games' Plus fanchise, which offers digital versions of traditional regional board and card games, has been key in helping the publisher gain its regional dominance.

While the primary cultural focus of most mobile games is based on an exchange between the West and the Far East, Peak Games' Plus offers something familiar to local smartphone owners.

“Our most popular games are those in the Plus Franchise,” Onur explained.

“They are community driven, multiplayer, synchronous titles and are part of the everyday lifestyle in Turkey. The Plus Franchise alone has more than 300,000 concurrent users and includes 6 different games: Okey, Okey Plus, 101 Plus, Tavla Plus, Batak and Pool Plus.”

“In addition; our flagship mid-core title War of Mercenaries thrives from a dedicated community that is interested in multiplayer combat and empire building."

While the region continues to add smartphone and tablet users, Peak Games has adopted a cross-platform strategy that allows them to grab users from Facebook, iOS, and Android.

“Our cross-platform strategy has been a key part of our growth,” explained Onur.

“As we release new games, they are cross-platform at launch on Facebook, iOS and Android. Mobile versions of some of the most successful games, including Okey Plus and 101 Plus, are consistently in top grossing lists, generating half their revenues from Android and iOS platforms.”

“The strategy of building on communities that are generated around games, requires 24-hour and easy access. That is why a cross-platform strategy that initially started on Facebook, but is now also growing rapidly on smart phones and tablets, is key for us.”



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