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Saudi Arabia set to be a global hub for gaming and esports

To aid this growing market, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also amped up its internet services.

Saudi Arabia set to be a global hub for gaming and esports
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

There is much evidence that Saudi Arabia has wholeheartedly embraced technology and everything remotely related to it. This gear shift has given rise to the esports industry in the Kingdom, which has shown tremendous potential in recent years.

A senior official has predicted that the Saudi Arabian esports market will grow by more than 250 per cent in the next eight years. At a world forum in Riyadh, Mohammed Saud Al-Tamimi, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission, revealed that a large chunk of the Saudi population is big on gaming. 

“In Saudi Arabia, 89 per cent of the Saudi population is gamers. It is the highest per capita globally,” said Al-Tamimi. 

By 2030, the gaming industry’s contribution to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product will have multiplied 50 times. The Kingdom’s esports and gaming industry is undergoing revolutionary change as a result of the Saudi Arabian Digital Content Council and its Ignite programme. “The Ignite program focuses on gaming, audio, digital advertising and video. In Ignite, we already approved a $100 million fund for multiple entrepreneurs and developers,” Al-Tamimi added. 

KSA has also amped up its internet services to aid this growing market. Saudi Arabia is the seventh largest country in terms of Internet speed on broadband and mobile phones. “We understand that gamers are using the mobile for networks. Over the last 12 months, with the partnership with telecom operators, we increased and improved the latency, which is the average response time, by more than 82 per cent,” Al-Tamimi added.

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