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EghtesadOnline: There are 28 million gamers in Iran, annually generating a revenue of 9.2 trillion rials ($219 million) for the gaming market.

A nationwide survey conducted by the Iran Computer and Video Games Foundation in collaboration with the Digital Games Research Center (DIREC) marks the rising number of gamers across the country.

According to a report released by DIREC on Monday, the number of Iranian gamers has seen a staggering 21% jump reaching 28 million by March 2018 compared to earlier data from March 2016 when the number stood at 23 million.

The research defines a gamer as someone who plays digital games at least an hour a week on one of the three common platforms of mobile phone, consoles or computers, Financial Tribune reported.

Applying a gender perspective to the data reveals that out of the 28 million gamers, 65% are men and 35% are women. Almost half of the population (47%) play games every single day of the week. 

In the country of 81 million people, the data means that out of every 100 Iranians, 35 are considered gamers. Out of every 100 women, 24 play games on a regular basis. 

Moreover, out of every 100 men, 45 are gamers. On average, each Iranian household accommodates one player in the family who spends 90 minutes per day playing games.

On average, each Iranian dedicates 31 minutes a day to games.

>Popular Games

The mobile strategy video game Clash of Clans is ranked as the most popular game among Iranians, followed by the football game Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) and the action-adventure series Grand Auto Theft.

Ranked fourth in the list is the first-person shooter video game Counter Strike. The fifth place belongs to another sports video game FIFA, the arch-rival of PES.

The first local game in the list is ranked sixth, the popular word game Baghlava developed by Brain Ladder Game Studio.

Next on the list are the mobile tower rush video game Clash Royale, the world-renowned shooter game Call of Duty and fun virtual pet game Pou. 

The 10th most widely-played game in Iran is also local, the trivia quiz game Quiz of Kings which has turned into a sensation among Iranian youth.

The five most popular game genres are respectively puzzle, platformer/runner, racing/driving, sports and lastly arcade.

>Financial Overview

As previously mentioned, the games industry in Iran has generated 9.2 trillion rials ($219 million) worth of revenue, with gaming hardware playing the leading role.

Iranians have spent $125 million on gaming devices and $94 million on games themselves. 

Mobile games have the largest share of the revenue with $54.64 million followed by console games $22.97 million and computer games $16.45 million.

The earnings from games developed locally stand at $13.26 million. Local games collect 6% of the total gaming market revenue. The figure stood at 5% in March 2016, indicating that the local gaming business is on an upward trend in generating revenue.

Out of the $94 million software market revenue, the local games market share stands at 14%. It merits mention that by the end of March 2015, domestic games had an 11% share.

Only 18% of the players buy games, with the average buyer aged 18 years old. Moreover, 85% of the purchasers are male and only 15% are women.

>Age Groups

The statistics give out expected results when analyzed age-wise, showing that the majority of gamers (36%) are teenagers between the age of 12 and 19.

Following teenagers are children under the age of 12, constituting 31% of players. The young generation between the age of 20 and 34 accounts for 26% of the gamer population.

The numbers turn surprisingly interesting as the age groups increase. Out of the 28 million gamers, 6% are between the age of 35 and 59.

Finally, 1% of the gamers, translating into 280,000 individuals are aged 60 or more; showcasing the pervasive nature of gaming even among the generations not as acquainted with the digital world as millennials.

Overall, the average gamer is 19 years old. Compared to the past results, the average gaming age has dropped by 2 years, going from 21 in March 2016 to 19 in March 2018.

>Platforms and Access

Nearly 88% of the gamers use mobile handsets to venture into the gaming world. The second device most widely used by players is computers with 25%, and 18% who use gaming consoles such as Play Station or Xbox.

It is intriguing to note that 2% of those surveyed have reported using handheld consoles. 

Iranians chiefly use devices made by Samsung for gaming purposes, followed by Sony, Huawei, Lenovo and lastly Microsoft.

Report further states that according to statistics released by the Internet World Stats, the country's Internet penetration rate stands at 70%. Roughly 84% of the gamers have Internet access and 48% play games online. 

Almost 59% of the players access the Internet via mobile services followed by broadband landline services (21%), WiMAX (5%) and dial-up (1%).

>Education and Marital Status

According to the data, 66% of game enthusiasts do not have a high school diploma. 

Those with a high school diploma constitute 15% of the gamer population and 6% have an associate degree. Moreover, 10% of the population has a bachelor's degree, followed by 2% with a master's and 1% with Ph.D. or higher educational backgrounds. 

Education and playing games seem to have an inverse relationship as higher education corresponds with fewer gamers; however, taking into account the age group of the majority of players, any relationship between higher education and less gaming time comes into question.

Furthermore, 78% of the players are single, 6% are married and without children and 15% are married and have children as well. 


Annual Turnover Iran Game Industry Gamers gaming market