MENA region leads the global Esports industry with over 56% market share, according to Statista. The Middle East has an impressive gaming community of 377 million gamers. Excitingly, the MENA gaming industry is projected to triple in size within two years, hitting $5 billion by 2025, compared with the current estimate of $1.8 billion.
Saudi Arabia Sees Huge Potential in China’s Thriving Esports Industry
Saudi Arabia is turning its attention to China’s booming esports industry as a promising avenue for investment and collaboration. Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation, highlighted the rapid growth of gaming and esports in Saudi Arabia, aligning with the country’s Vision 2030 and economic diversification initiatives.
China is currently the world’s largest single-country market for esports, with major investments from tech giants propelling the industry to new heights. Prince Faisal noted that China’s gaming sector has given rise to world-class companies investing in innovative games and platforms.
To tap into the growing esports community, Saudi Arabia introduced its National Gaming and Esports Strategy in 2022, targeting approximately 23.5 million gaming enthusiasts. This strategy is expected to contribute over 50 billion Saudi riyals annually to the kingdom’s economic prosperity by 2030.
Riyadh hosted the Next World Forum in August, an industry event dedicated to shaping the future of gaming and esports through collaboration. Experts and pioneers from around the world came together to share ideas and address industry challenges.
Highlighting their commitment to the sector, Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group invested $265 million in VSPO, a Chinese esports startup specializing in tournaments and production. This investment makes Savvy the largest shareholder in VSPO, signaling the kingdom’s growing interest in China’s thriving esports landscape.
“By creating a network of gaming communities and spaces for collaboration, we have made significant progress in building a thriving esports ecosystem within the country,” stated Prince Faisal.
The potential for business cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia, especially in areas like 5G, esports, and smart-city development, is expected to be unleashed due to the Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Vision 2030, according to Sun Fuquan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.
Qatar solidifies its dedication to advancing the world of esports through a 10-year Strategic Framework Agreement with the Global Esports Federation. This partnership connects Qatar with a global network of hubs and opens doors for future growth and collaboration. With Qatar’s innovative spirit and commitment, the future of esports is set to reach new heights.