With two events taking place in Dubai before Christmas and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles about to hit UAE stores, the gaming market is bigger than ever before.
It was called the biggest entertainment release in history and has already broken seven Guinness World Records, including the fastest video game to gross $1 billion, (Dhs3.6 billion) and the most copies of a game sold in 24 hours. So anticipated was the release of Grand Theft Auto 5 for the PlayStation and Xbox consoles back in September that shops all over the globe reported people queuing up overnight to get hold of copies. What’s more, people were so desperate to play it they took time off work and phoned in sick. Computer games website IGN asked 10,995 gamers whether they’d throw a sickie to play it. More than 2,000 said they would (with another 5,000 readers saying they’d taken the day as holiday).
And get ready for gamers to take a few more days off sick when Sony and Microsoft release their new gaming consoles in the UAE before Christmas; the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
Dubai is also getting in on the act by hosting two gaming events before 2014. First up in November is the Dubai World Game Expo, the largest event for video games and digital entertainment industry in the MENA region. Secondly, in December, music from console games is brought alive in a classical music performance at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Dubai World Game Expo
The largest gaming event in the region takes place this month, with developers, publishers, distributors, investors and retailers all converging on the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre to discuss the future of software. Companies attending include big games houses such as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts (the makers of one of the most popular games of all time, Fifa), Konami (the makers of Fifa’s rival, Pro Evolution Soccer) and Square Enix (the gurus behind the Final Fantasy games).
November 18-19. Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 8. www.gameexpo.ae.
Video Games Live
It’s not just great gameplay which makes a piece of software iconic – the music featured in titles such as Super Mario, Mass Effect, World Of Warcraft and Tomb Raider have become such a big part of console culture that top orchestras and choirs now tour the world performing gaming soundtracks as part of a ‘digital greatest hits’. And in December, Video Games Live performs in Dubai again at the World Trade Centre. A spectacular laser and big-screen video show, featuring footage from the games, will add a more visual element to the concert.
Dhs185-595. December 13. Dubai World Trade Centre (04 332 1000).