Creative Zone KSA

Business Opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s Gaming and Esports Sector

Overview of Gaming in Saudi Arabia

The Middle East is an important market for hardcore and casual gamers. Saudi Arabia accounts for approximately 45% of the region’s gaming sector, boasting a market value exceeding $1.8 billion. The gaming and esports landscape in Saudi Arabia is currently undergoing a fundamental transformation. The Saudi government has invested $38 billion in the global gaming market, becoming a major player in the $184 billion industry. The Kingdom also hosted the world’s largest esports and gaming event, Gamers8, in 2023. Gamers8 drew the attention of over 1.4 million attendees and captivated an online audience of more than 132 million viewers worldwide.

Saudi Arabia is poised to substantially impact the gaming industry by leveraging its existing user and gamer base, nurturing local talent, implementing robust governance, and exploring investment opportunities. With a diverse demographic and strong consumer engagement, Saudi consumers are actively contributing to the growth and advancement of the gaming and esports sector. The market has witnessed rapid growth and is well-positioned for further expansion, thanks to substantial investments from the government and businesses and the dedicated and passionate user and gamer community.

Saudi Gaming and Esports Landscape

Saudi Arabia boasts a substantial gaming community, with its 21 million gamers constituting about 58% of the Kingdom’s population. In the country, 68% of residents identify as gamers, a trend attributed to the large youth demographic and widespread use of smartphones and the internet. In Saudi Arabia, which stands as the largest economy in the Arab world, gamers show a strong preference for mobile gaming. This segment represents around 65% of the gaming market’s revenue in the Kingdom. The gaming market in Saudi Arabia is poised for considerable expansion shortly. It is forecasted that in 2024, the market’s revenue will hit US$998.20 million.

With an expected annual growth rate of 8.53% from 2024 to 2027, the market size is projected to increase to US$1,276.00 million by 2027.

The Savvy Gaming Group, a branch of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is spearheading developing and promoting the gaming sector in the Kingdom. The group’s initiatives include setting up premier gaming studios and procuring elite games to enhance the gaming experience. The strategy involves 86 initiatives spread over eight key areas: technology and hardware, game production, esports, ancillary services, infrastructure, regulation, education, and talent recruitment. By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to establish 250 gaming companies, create 39,000 jobs, and boost the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product to 50 billion riyals.

The Saudi government is also formulating regulations to foster a favourable environment for the gaming industry. These regulations encompass licensing for game developers, publishers, and esports teams, legal structures for safeguarding intellectual property, and managing online payments and digital transactions.

Saudi Arabia’s National Gaming and Esports Strategy

Saudi Arabia’s determined pursuit of becoming a global gaming and esports hub involves a commitment to improving the overall gaming experience, investing in emerging game ventures, and attracting foreign investments. Saudi Arabia has established a strategy to become a significant centre for gaming and esports by 2030. Their objectives include contributing $13.3 billion to their economy, developing numerous games, and cultivating a substantial pool of professional esports players. This strategy is built on three key pillars: enhancing the gaming experience, supporting emerging game companies, and boosting the country’s economy through investments, job creation, and educational initiatives in the gaming and esports sectors.

Gaming and E-sports District in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is set to establish a comprehensive gaming and esports district within the extensive Qiddiya City entertainment complex, aligning with its ambition to become a leading global hub in the burgeoning gaming sector. Spanning 500,000 square meters, this district is designed to accommodate up to 25 esports teams simultaneously and will serve as the regional base for over 30 video game companies. The district aims to draw 10 million visitors annually by 2030, contributing to Qiddiya City’s overall goal of attracting 48 million visitors annually. Initially proposed earlier this month, the district will feature four specialized esports arenas, including one expected to rank among the world’s top three largest esports venues. With a combined maximum capacity of 73,000, these facilities will host a continuous schedule of major esports tournaments throughout the year.

Esports World Cup in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is set to host the 2024 Esports World Cup to boost the gaming sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP by over SAR50 billion and generate 39,000 job opportunities by 2030. Starting in the summer of 2024, Riyadh will be the annual host for the Esports World Cup, expected to be the largest event of its kind worldwide. It will feature the most popular games spanning all genres and offer the largest prize pool in esports history.

The Esports World Cup represents a significant milestone in Saudi Arabia’s quest to establish itself as the leading global centre for gaming and esports, delivering an unparalleled esports experience that pushes the industry’s boundaries. This competition will further progress toward achieving the objectives outlined in Vision 2030, such as economic diversification, growth in the tourism sector, job creation across various industries, and the provision of world-class entertainment for citizens, residents, and visitors.

Start Your Gaming Business in Saudi Arabia with Creative Zone

Starting a gaming company in Saudi Arabia offers a promising and distinct opportunity, especially given the region’s fast-expanding gaming sector and the supportive initiatives from the government. With the help of Creative Zone’s expertise in establishing businesses and our deep understanding of the local market, you can successfully tackle the challenges of starting and running a gaming company in Saudi Arabia, capitalizing on a market filled with potential.

Company Formation: Creative Zone can guide you through company registration, ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations. This includes assistance with obtaining necessary licenses and permits.

Networking and Partnerships: With local presence and connections, Creative Zone can facilitate partnerships with Saudi companies, potential investors, and key industry players.

Operational Assistance: Creative Zone can support setting up your operations, from finding office space to recruiting local talent.

Continued Support: As your company grows, Creative Zone can provide advice and support in market expansion, regulatory changes, and strategic pivots.

Start your Saudi business journey now!