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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia intends to invest 142 billion riyals ($38 billion) to develop e-sports. The investment should make the state the world's centre of e-sports by 2030.
Savvy Games Group, a unit of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, will spend 50 billion riyals to acquire and develop game publishers and 70 billion riyals to acquire minority stakes in gaming companies. It will also invest 20 billion riyals in mature gaming ventures and Riyal 2 billion in young companies that are just starting out in gaming and cyber sports.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and chairman of Savvy Mohammed bin Salman said:
We are harnessing the untapped potential across the esports and games sector to diversify our economy, drive innovation in the sector and further scale the entertainment and esports competition offerings across the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is already actively investing in the gaming industry. The country's sovereign wealth fund has previously acquired stakes in companies such as Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Nintendo. At the same time, Savvy Games Group bought a stake in Embracer Group AB and acquired Modern Times Group's eSports division for $1.05bn. Savvy Games Group CEO Brian Ward, former head of international studios at Activision Blizzard, is the chief executive.
Previously, 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.
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