The ‘world’s first virtual gaming festival’ GameOn will target 2.7 billion gamers globally

GEM Events, the organizers of Insomnia Gaming Festival in Dubai and Saudi (pictured), are back again with another exciting festival, but this time, with a massive twist! This game-changing festival, Game On, will up the standards and create a whole new playground for the gaming industry. It is a 100% free to attend, fully customizable, interactive, 24/7 festival terrain where experiences can be tailored to really resonate with the virtual visitors. Expect some big-name guest artists and exciting live-streamed competitions.

Last year, GEM Events brought in world-class influencers for Insomnia Gaming Festival, including the likes of FaZe Clan (one of the most popular esports organization in the world) and The Sidemen. There are many more coming this year that will surely excite and connect with the fans.

The MENA region is home to the world’s most active gaming community with 377.1 million gamers, as well as boasting a 25%1 year-on-year growth, making it the fastest growing online gaming population in the world! Given the region’s potential for being one of the biggest globally, GEM Events chose it to be the hub of this global gaming phenomenon.

Some 30% of the GCC population play digital games, and gamers aged 18-24 (50% of Mena’s population are under 25) are spending an average of eight hours per week on consoles. Furthermore, at $181, MENA’s average revenue per user (ARPU) is amongst the highest in the world – compared to just $48 in China.1

Forget Zooms and Webinars – Game On turns everyday occurrences into outstanding virtual experiences. GEM Events is confident that Game On will draw in over 10 million visitors just in its first year, providing companies with a new creative platform that enables them to engage with their audience in an entirely new way.

Users will be able to create and customize avatars to navigate the festival grounds and interact with the different stands and environments. This will give publishers an unlimited number of possibilities, and enable creative new ways to showcase their latest products and announcements, without the confinements of the physical world.

“This is a monumental year for the gaming industry,” says James Magee, CEO and Co-Founder of GEM and Game On, “there has been a major shift to online content and events, and we wanted to offer a platform for the industry to expand the reach of traditional festivals. We are very proud of our success last year with Insomnia, and we believe that the online sphere offers a far greater reach and endless growth potential. We are confident that, with our global partners, we will bring together the largest gaming audience in the world.”

According to a report by Newzoo, the gaming industry is now worth a whopping US$159.3 billion-a-year growing at 9.3% year-on-year. That is bigger in terms of revenue than annual worldwide box office, annual music streaming and album sales, and major sports leagues all put together. Esports take a major slice of that cake, with sponsored tournaments giving out prizes that their sports counterparts can only dream of – the estimated prize money for DOTA 2 tournaments reached 46.97 million U.S. dollars in 2019.

The gaming industry has started recognizing the Middle East region’s potential and this is very evident with the various campaigns and activities around the MENA. Recently, the first ever live subtitled conference was held by Ubisoft! Publishers have also been localizing their games (both with subtitling and dubbing). While others have been launching dedicated servers for the region (such as EA Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games and others) in addition to the dedicated social media channels that reach the Middle Eastern audience in their own language.

Those companies have seen major success when it comes to targeted marketing campaigns done online. Esports tournaments are becoming more popular in the region and teams from the region are now competing on the global grounds. Peripheral companies are seen sponsoring various esports teams and pro players, while others are sponsoring these tournaments to have a larger pool prize.

Game On will combine the best of both physical and virtual events, creating a platform that provides on-demand endless entertainment. When events and gaming shows around the world shut down, YouTube and Twitch became a hub for companies wanting to promote their products. According to a report by Cheesecake Digital, YouTube went from just over one million hours of viewership to 3 million in March. While Twitch reported that the number of streams in Arabic grew by 95.3% in March in comparison with last year, and 36.9% in comparison to February. That number also grew by 109.9% in April.

This year has shifted how things are done in the gaming world, both globally and in the region. With major events are going virtual or canceled altogether. Huge announcements taking place such as the next-gen of consoles being released and new titles that have been long sought after. All these announcements need to be heard and given the attention they deserve. Gaming events need to find a new home, and Game On is here to welcome them!