Turkey's share in the gaming industry has increased to $1.2 billion as the number of digital players continues its climb to around 42 million, esports agency Gaming in Turkey CEO Ozan Aydemir said Monday.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Aydemir cited a 2021 report on the gaming industry in Turkey released by the agency and noted that while the total global market was $138 billion in 2018, this figure increased to $152 billion in 2019.
The size of the global gaming market increased to $177 billion in 2020 when the pandemic and closures fueled indoor activities like gaming, Aydemir said, noting that the figure exceeded expectations.
In 2021, this figure was recorded as $176 billion.
When comparing 2020 and 2021, there appears to be a loss, said the CEO, adding, however, that this is also related to the COVID-19 pandemic
“2020 was actually a leap year. 2021 was a slightly more balanced year,” he said.
Elaborating on the size of the gaming industry in Turkey, Aydemir said the country had a market share of only $853 million in 2018.
“In 2019, this figure decreased to $830 million. Actually, it is not quite right to call it a regression because the money we normally spend in Turkish lira per capita has increased. But since the dollar rate has also increased, it seems to decrease when we calculate it in dollar terms. In 2020, our total income increased to $880 million. In 2021, this figure has increased to $1.23 billion," he said.
The number of players in Turkey also increased from 30 million to 42 million from 2018 to 2021.
“There is a very young population in Turkey,” Aydemir said, noting that the number of hours spent gaming and the number of new players both increased.
“When we look at the male-female ratio, if it had been three to four years ago, we would have been talking about a more male-dominated audience. Now there seems to be a balanced situation with 47% female players and 53% male players," he explained.
Aydemir went on to say that Turkish gaming companies received almost $2 billion of investment in 2020, adding that investments continued in 2021.
"In 2021, 54 startups received investment in Turkey and a volume of $266 million was created. These figures show that the success of Turkish games not only in Turkey but also globally is undeniable,” he noted.
One of the underlying factors of these successes are the highly successful Turkish software developers and mobile game companies, said Aydemir.
“The human resources inside are increasing day by day. Today, many game companies have both Turkish and foreign employees. The main purpose here is to open up not only to our region, but to the whole world. To gather all cultures together,” he said.
Aydemir said Turkey has highly qualified software developers who have attracted great interest from companies abroad.
He explained that Turkish universities provide students a quality education in game development and that young people are able to turn their theoretical knowledge into practice through the increasing number of game companies.
Highlighting that there are over 165 professional esports teams and 8,126 licensed esports players in Turkey, Aydemir defined esports as "the shining star of the industry."
Many brands have invested in the metaverse, Aydemir added, noting that many games have their own economies and incorporate different integrations within.
“Concerts and events were held there. This is something we are not unfamiliar with. To create an 'other universe' where virtual worlds are intertwined. Some time is needed with this technology. The game industry will be the foundation of the metaverse world,” he said.