Pakistan’s gaming industry is on the rise, but it has yet to reach its full potential, according to industry experts.
According to Pakistan Software Houses Association ([email protected]) Chairman Muhammad Zohaib Khan, the gaming industry’s income will exceed $200 million in 2023, with an annual growth rate of 9.77% from 2023 to 2027. However, he believes that Pakistan’s gaming industry has yet to realize its full potential.
“By 2022, mobile games alone will have generated $171.30 million.” According to the most recent figures, online games made $21.34 million and download games generated $16.13 million, said the [email protected] CEO.
According to Noman Ahmed, CEO of Si Global, “Despite the gaming industry being highly profitable, Pakistan is not benefiting as much as it could.” Investing in the future is critical, and the government’s support for technological development in Pakistan is encouraging.”
“The establishment of training centres for aspiring game developers is one initiative that could help Pakistan’s gaming industry,” he said, adding that “despite the gaming industry’s global volume of over $500 billion, Pakistan’s share is limited to $50 million, which could be significantly increased with initiatives like establishing a local gaming and animation industry.”
Kapeel Kumar, a startup investment specialist, believes that this investment will revolutionise research and innovation in gaming, VFX, computer vision, and AI by fostering a robust ecosystem involving collaboration with tech partners, industry, investors, industry associations, and the government.
Kumar stated that the goal is to promote indigenous product development while also accelerating the growth of tech entrepreneurship in the country, with a special emphasis on the youth. He believes that through cooperating with industry partners, the model can be established on a solid foundation to realise the aim of creating world-class gaming, animation, and deep tech providers.
The [email protected] chairman referred to Statista Market Forecast and the International Trade Center (ITC) and explained that Pakistan has the potential to become the next regional hub in game development as 64% of its population is young, and through targeted skills development, Pakistan can surpass its yearly projections.
However, he reiterated his position that the federal government, SBP, and FBR must adapt their practices and regulations to international best practices in foreign exchange management and allow the IT & ITeS industry to freely manage their hard-earned foreign exchange to fund their businesses, reinvest in their entities, invest in marketing, sales, and networking, and contribute to the strengthening of Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves.
“We can easily add 3000 gaming developers to the human resource (HR) pool every year,” Khan said, “and in that fashion, Pakistan can comfortably achieve a 30% year-on-year growth in the gaming industry’s foreign remittances, provided we can invest in HR and skills development for aspiring game developers.”
The gaming business in Pakistan now employs over 8,500 game developers across three primary sub-sectors: gaming products, middleware, and gaming services.
Collaboration between businesses and governments would ensure that the model is established on a stable foundation, allowing world-class gaming, animation, and deep tech providers to be built. Finally, investing in game developer training centres is an important step towards realising Pakistan’s potential in the gaming and technology industries, which will contribute to economic progress and prosperity.
It is pertinent to note that [email protected] and its member firms supported and participated in the Game Developers Conference 2023 held in California with the support of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Ministry of IT & Telecom, USAID, and Pakistani Consulate in Los Angeles. The Pakistan Pavilion attracted the movers and shakers of the global gaming fraternity due to the excellent presentation of the game development potential in Pakistan.