Saudi Arabia is investing $8 billion in the gaming industry to diversify its economy and to make the kingdom an international hub for esports gaming.
The investment is part of a larger $38 billion allocated for the esports gaming sector under its Savvy Games Group, which aims to create 40,000 jobs and has already invested in Nintendo and Activation Blizzard.
In a noteworthy shift from oil dependency, Saudi Arabia is committed to diversifying its economy by injecting significant capital into the thriving global esports gaming industry.
Vision 2030: A Pathway to Diversification
The investment forms a core part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s transformative Vision 2030 initiative. The ambitious project underscores Saudi Arabia’s commitment to invest in growth sectors that resonate with its youthful population, over 65% of whom are under 30.
The Kingdom’s strategy is to leverage this demographic asset to tap into the widespread popularity of gaming, thereby unlocking new avenues for economic growth.
The Investment Strategy: A Closer Look
The implementation of this grand investment plan is primarily managed by the government investment fund’s gaming arm, the Savvy Games Group, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The $8 billion investment represents a fraction of the massive $38 billion budget set aside to establish Saudi Arabia as a global gaming center.
Growth Targets and Economic Impact
Saudi Arabia’s national strategy for the gaming industry is clear and ambitious. The Kingdom intends to contribute 1% of its annual GDP through the gaming industry, generate around 40,000 jobs, and produce at least 30 new gaming titles.
Furthermore, the country aims to host 250 gaming companies and studios, thus fostering an ecosystem of innovation and creativity within the gaming sector.
Strategic Investments: Making a Mark
Saudi Arabia has strategically invested in leading global gaming companies, including Nintendo and Activision Blizzard, to kickstart its gaming ambitions. These investments signal the Kingdom’s seriousness in cementing its position within the global gaming landscape.
Furthermore, the country’s Public Investment Fund has also acquired significant stakes in prominent gaming companies, such as China’s VSPO, Sweden’s Embracer Group, and US-based Scopely.
Outlook on the Gaming Industry
Despite the challenges, industry insiders express optimism about the local gaming industry’s prospects. A recent survey revealed that 81% of Saudi entrepreneurs and gaming companies are optimistic about the gaming industry’s future in the Kingdom.
With the Crown Prince closely monitoring the project, Saudi Arabia’s transformation in the gaming sector promises to be a fascinating journey.