Saudi gaming sector 'could be worth $21 billion yearly'

Saudi gaming sector could be worth $21 billion yearly by 2030, royal says
2 min read
28 October, 2021
Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan's claim comes in a year where total esports takings worldwide were forecasted to be just over $1 billion.
The videogames industry is booming worldwide [Luke Walker - FIFA/FIFA/Getty-file photo]

Saudi Arabia's videogames sector could be worth $21 billion a year within the next decade, the country's Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports chief has claimed.

It comes as the pastime is booming in the kingdom, with half the country saying they game often according to one piece of research, Arab News reported on Thursday.

Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan told the Saudi daily on Tuesday that the research, which the nation's sports ministry was involved in, found nearly one in two people say they game at least once monthly.

Around 1 percent of the Riyadh's GDP could be made up of esports and videogames by 2030, the royal asserted.

He said he had questioned if 1 percent was an appropriate figure, wondering if it was too low.

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Prince Faisal explained: "That sounds like a really good number to me, and that's both from direct and indirect job creation and GDP creation through the gaming and e-sports industry."

Computer gaming activities are growing internationally, with the Newzoo videogames research firm in March having forecasted worldwide esports takings to jump by 14 percent this year on 2020.

This will take them to just over $1 billion.

Though total revenue is not directly comparable with GDP, and Newzoo's prediction only includes esports, the $20 billion gulf between this figure and prince's GDP aspirations raises questions about how realistic his suggestion is.

This news comes ahead of a new development in Saudi Arabia's crucial digital security space, which it considers essential to the realisation of its national goals.

Between 28 and 30 November, the Saudi capital will be hosting digital security hacking event @Hack, Wired reported last week.

Leading internet security event group Black Hat is helping run @Hack and officials from reputed firms like Amazon will be present.