Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presented the National Gaming and Esports Strategy. The Kingdom aims to lead this sector and become a global gaming hub by 2030.
The new programme is in line with Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy, create new jobs in various sectors and "provide world-class entertainment" to residents and visitors to the country.
The Crown Prince said:
The National Gaming and Esports Strategy is driven by the creativity and energy of our citizens and gamers, who are at the heart of the strategy.
The main objectives of the strategy are to improve the quality of life by enhancing the gaming experience, provide new entertainment opportunities and achieve economic impact by contributing about Riyal 50 billion ($13.3 billion) to GDP.
The development in this direction will create an additional 39,000 jobs. Furthermore, the goal is to create more than 30 competitive games by Saudi studios and to be among the top three countries with the largest number of cyber sportsmen.
The strategy will be implemented through 86 initiatives that are divided into eight main areas, including technology and hardware development, game production, cyber sports, value-added services, as well as other aspects such as infrastructure, regulation, education and talent attraction.
The games and cyber sports sector is expected to reach $200 billion by 2023. It is the fastest-growing of all media sectors.
In February 2021, the Saudi Arabia Sovereign Fund (PIF) acquired shares in three major gaming companies - Activision Blizzard Inc., Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive Software. The investment totalled more than $3 billion. Later, the country's government bought a 5% stake in Nintendo and a stake in Embracer Group..