Egypt suffers from many of the same challenges as other markets in the region.
One of the most prominent is piracy. Most Egyptian retailers sell illegal copies of console games in order to stay afloat, with past reports suggesting as much as 60 per cent of games sold in the region is bootlegged software.
But one local retailer offers a much higher estimate.
“The problem with video games in Egypt is not just the piracy,” says retailer GameSword’s founder Mohammed Hossam El Masry(...).
“The other problem is the high tax rates retailers here in Egypt pay, as well as the customs – especially on accessories and consoles. Those should have a higher profit margins, but that does not happen due to the high custom rates.”
High tax rates force games retailers to raise the price of genuine video games, but this clashes with the extremely low wagers of Egyptian consumers.
As a result, a significant number of gamers in the region get their fix by heading to one of Egypt’s dedicated gaming cafes.
The development scene is much quieter, with only a couple of studios still actively creating new games. These either focus on Arabic titles for Facebook or browsers, or co-operate with developers from other nations on larger projects.