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His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs unveils the National Gaming and Esports Strategy that marks the beginning of a new era toward leading the gaming sector and making Saudi Arabia the global hub for this sector by 2030, which contributes in achieving Vision 2030 objectives to diversify the economy, create new jobs in various sectors, and provide world-class entertainment for citizens, residents and visitors alike.

His Royal Highness the Crown Prince highlighted: 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. We are delivering on the ambitions of the gaming community in Saudi Arabia and around the world, with an exciting new career, and unique entertainment opportunities; aiming to make Saudi Arabia the ultimate global hub for this sector by 2030.

The strategy includes 3 main objectives that have a direct impact on citizens, the private sector, fans and professionals of games and esports around the world, which is to raise the quality of life by improving the players’ experience, providing new entertainment opportunities, and achieving an economic impact by contributing to the gross domestic product by about 50 billion riyals directly and indirectly, Also the creation of 39,000 new direct and indirect job opportunities by 2030, providing the foundational environment for developing competencies, and aiming to reach global leadership and enhance the Kingdom’s position on the international arena, through the production of more than 30 competitive games Globally in the Kingdom’s studios, and reaching the top three countries in the number of professional esports players.

The launch of the strategy by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince comes as a continuation of the many initiatives and the great successes achieved by the Kingdom in entertainment, sports, and video game sectors, within the framework of Vision 2030. This is especially important considering the rapid growth that this sector is witnessing which will create new opportunities that require the existence of a national strategy to harness the Kingdom’s untapped capabilities and potential; by leading the developments in this sector, ensuring integration with other strategic sectors, and maximizing the benefit to the economy of the country and empower the citizens.

The Kingdom intends to implement this strategy through 86 initiatives covering the entire value chain, launched and managed by more than 20 government and private entities, from launching business incubators and hosting major events for gaming and e-sports, establishing educational academies, and developing stimulating regulations that ensure keeping pace with the rapid growth in this sector. These initiatives are divided into 8 focus areas, including technology and hardware development, game production, e-sports, additional services, and other enabling aspects that include infrastructure, regulations, education, and talent acquisition, as well as financing and financial support.

The gaming and esports sector is considered the fastest growing among all media sectors, and its audience is rapidly increasing, which makes it an economy in itself, and is expected to reach $200 billion by 2023. It also forms the Kingdom’s position as a geographical link between the East and West and its young population of around 21M. Such elements will enhance the Kingdom’s ambition to be a global hub for future gaming innovations, an attraction for game developers worldwide, and a global hub for esports, attracting talent and international companies and contributing to achieving a local and global impact in the sector, in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

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By Zoltan Tundik

Zoltán Tűndik-Kiszner-Szilágyi is the Co-Founder, Co-Owner and Head of Business at Hipther Agency, parent brand of WireUp, European Gaming, PICANTE, and Gaming Americas. Zoltán is a self-taught publisher and events organizer who has developed several brands and services that have increased the notoriety of his company within several multi-billion industries. Among the developed brands and services you can find online news portals that cover several tech industries, gaming, blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence, and more. In parallel, the company has built a portfolio of annually organized boutique-style conferences in Europe and North America. All the events organized by his company focus on bringing a wealth of information about the latest innovation in several industries such as Entertainment, Technology, Gaming and Gambling, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Quantum Technology, Legal Cannabis, Health and Lifestyle, VR/AR, eSports and many more.