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Tue 30 Mar 2010 01:57 PM

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Saudi gamers spend as much as seven hours a day online

Latest data says KSA users play online games twice as long as those in Egypt.

Saudi gamers spend as much as seven hours a day online
WEB GAMES: On average Saudi customers play online games five-six days per week, the firm said. (Getty Images)

Saudi internet users spend considerably more time playing multiplayer online games than users in other countries, according to data collected by one of the region’s largest gaming websites.

According to Tahadi Games, which targets Arab youth in the MENA markets, users in Southeast Asia play three times a week on average, for an average of two to two and a half hours a session. The figures are similar for locations such as Egypt.

“In Saudi Arabia, however, we seeing way higher than this,” Tahadi Games’ senior operations manager Taj Deluria told Arabian Business.

“On average, our customers from Saudi are playing five-six days per week, for a minimum of five hours per day. At one point last year, we were seeing as much as seven hours per day.”

Deluria said that his firm’s data did not reveal which ages or sexes were playing the games.

“While not totally accurate – since registrants can misreport their location and our system does not distinguish between Saudis and expatriates, for example - we believe that it is enough to draw meaningful information about the country,” the Tahadi executive added.

After three months of operations, Tahadi now has around a million page views a month, with 200,000 registrations and 2,000 users playing simultaneously on its games.

In April, the firm will launch the multi-award-winning Runes of Might, a massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG).

In 2008, Saudi newspaper Asharq Al Awsat reported the results of an educational study that highlighted the dangers of interactive gaming.

The report indicated that youngsters exposed in games for long periods often found it tough to distinguish between virtual reality and real life, especially when playing more violent games.

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Robert 10 years ago

Dear Author, I don't think you will be winning any literary prizes for this article! Can you please expliain what other social options the Saudi Youth have when they stop playing video games? For example...maybe they might go to the Cinema or the local water park etc???

Walid 10 years ago

Defiantly Robert is not quite familiar with KSA. There is no doubt that Saudi lacks the night clubs element and the cinema but it has some of the best malls in the region and biggest number of arcades and in door them parks in the middles east . Sports are big with sea sites that incomparable in the region, highest number of Gyms and bowling clubs in the gulf so defiantly there is more to do than online games.

DXBEXPAT 10 years ago

Agree with robert completely. There maybe malls, arcades, indoor theme parks, marine sports activities in saudi, but they aren't truly comparable in per capita spend capacity, among other factors. The idea behind this article is probably to highlight the (forced) lack of options in saudi which drives people to spend hours together on internet gaming.