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Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia bets on esports and gaming industry

A strategy was announced to make the kingdom a leading gaming hub by 2030 and add around $13 billion to the GDP.

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia bets on esports and gaming industry
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The gaming and esports industry is anticipated to develop at a quick pace, reaching $200 billion globally by 2023. Marking its third investment in a Japanese video game business, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF), acquired a 5.01% share earlier this year in Nintendo. The PIF has also established the Savvy Gaming Group to create an integrated ecosystem for the industry.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has unveiled the National Gaming and Esports Strategy, which aims to make the kingdom the world’s leading gaming hub by 2030. This will help the kingdom achieve its Vision 2030 goals of diversifying the economy and generating new jobs across various industries.

The strategy has three primary goals: to increase players’ enjoyment of the game, offer additional entertainment options, and have an economic impact by adding around $13.3 billion to the GDP directly and indirectly. By 2030, the initiative also hopes to generate 39,000 new direct and indirect employment opportunities.

About 86 initiatives encompassing the whole value chain will be created and managed by more than 20 public and commercial organizations as part of the strategy’s implementation. The activities range from setting up educational academies and creating innovative legislation to hosting major gaming and esports events and building business incubators.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, these projects are broken down into eight main areas, including game development, e-sports, extra services, and other supporting factors like infrastructure, regulations, education, and talent acquisition, as well as funding and financial support.

“The National Gaming and Esports strategy is driven by the creativity and energy of our citizens and gamers at the heart of the strategy. We are delivering on the ambitions of the gaming community in Saudi Arabia and around the world, with exciting new careers and unique entertainment opportunities; aiming to make Saudi Arabia the ultimate global hub for this sector by 2030,” said the crown prince.

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