Saudi Arabia invests $488m in gaming and eSports industries

According to a report by Statista Research, the eSports market is projected to generate global revenue of $1,624.00 million in 2023, while the overall gaming market is expected to reach $482.30 billion in revenue by 2027. These impressive numbers signify the rapid growth of the gaming and eSports industry worldwide.

Saudi Arabia has also been making strides in the gaming and eSports sector, as evidenced by the government’s approval of $488 million in funding to enhance the industry. The country is aiming to become a major player in the global gaming and eSports market. reports that the funding was provided by the Social Development Bank, Saudi Federation for Electronic Sports, and the National Development Fund. This move aligns with the National Gaming and eSports Strategy introduced by Prince Mohammed bin Salman last year, indicating a serious commitment to the development of the industry in Saudi Arabia.

Strategic plans for generating revenue

Abdullah Alswaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, stated that around $6.4 billion in Saudi investments will go to cutting-edge technologies. And an astonishing $488 million of Saudi investments have already been given to the gaming and eSports industry hub to enhance economic growth and industrial expansion. The investments will also bring in foreign capital and broaden the range of global markets available to Saudi businesses. The financial boost will assist in creating new jobs and new industries. 

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program includes a goal to become a leading hub for gaming and eSports activities. The program is a comprehensive plan to diversify the country’s economy and enhance public services, such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, tourism, and recreation. A key objective of Vision 2030 is revenue diversification, as the oil industry remains the primary source of income for the country, and it prioritizes the development of digital infrastructure and support for digital transformation.

Gaming and eSports investments

By 2027, the eSports market in Saudi Arabia is expected to generate annual revenue of $14.49 million, and the gaming market is projected to reach the $2,075.00 mark. The fast expansion of these industries prompted the nationwide initiative to encourage the growth of gaming and eSports.  

These initiatives include the formation of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) and the launching of the Saudi eSports Federation, which will host this year’s Global eSports Games in Riyadh. The event is expected to attract some of the world’s top professional gamers.  

The Saudi Arabian government has allocated additional funds to construct gaming centers and venues, creating a safe and enjoyable gaming environment for Saudi youth. The government has established an eSports city in Riyadh, serving as a hub for the industry and hosting international tournaments. The Center for Government Communications and the Ministry of Media of Saudi Arabia will launch a study program in 2023 with the support of 30 companies to establish a digitally literate society and empower the country’s workforce. Furthermore, Playhera, an eSports competition platform, has committed $100 million to a cloud-based gaming platform for enterprise expansion.

The fast growth of gaming and eSports

A recent YouGov study found that 29% of Saudis are interested in eSports, a higher percentage than in the US, Japan, and EU countries. The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) predicts that the national gaming market will grow by 250% over the next eight years due to the increasing availability of high-speed internet and mobile devices, as well as the popularity of online and mobile gaming. The gaming industry is expected to make a significant contribution to the country’s economic growth.

Final thoughts 

The Saudi government is continuously investing in the gaming and eSports industries. One of its many establishments is the Saudi Arabia eSports Federation, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East. The government’s strategy of investments in this industry will produce fresh job opportunities and establish Saudi Arabia as a regional hub for gaming and eSports. Promoting gaming and eSports culture will provide a more vibrant entertainment scene, modify the country’s economy and boost its growth in non-oil income.

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