Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has unveiled a national strategy to grow the country’s gaming and esports sectors.
The National Gaming and Esports Strategy aims to make the country ‘the global hub’ for both sectors by 2030.
The strategy revolves around three main pillars: improving player experience, creating new opportunities, and making an economic impact that contributes ‘SR50 billion (~£11.7bn) to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product.
Additionally, the initiative aims to create at least 39,000 job opportunities over the next eight years.
Alongside its main pillars, Saudi Arabia will implement the strategy through multiple projects ranging from hosting major esports events to establishing game studios that aim to produce more than 30 competitive games.
According to a release, the creation of jobs and contribution to the economy will ‘provide the foundational environment for developing competencies’ as the Kingdom looks to elevate its position in the global esports market.
2022 continues to see the Saudi Arabian esports sector continue to grow. In June, the Kingdom’s esports federation partnered with financial company Mastercard alongside launching the Gamers8 Festival. However, these recent developments by the country have caused controversy over ‘esportswashing’ and attempting to deflect criticism regarding Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
Following the unveiling, the Crown Prince spoke on the initiative: “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.”