From FIFA to Fortnite, Saudi Arabia pushes telecoms giants to boost gaming response times

From FIFA to Fortnite, Saudi Arabia pushes telecoms giants to boost gaming response times
Saudi telecoms giants are boosting video game response times as the sector booms. (Supplied)
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Updated 05 March 2021

From FIFA to Fortnite, Saudi Arabia pushes telecoms giants to boost gaming response times

From FIFA to Fortnite, Saudi Arabia pushes telecoms giants to boost gaming response times
  • Telecoms body monitors response times
  • Gaming sector attracts PIF investment

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is measuring the gaming response times across its major telecoms networks in the latest move by the government to encourage investment in the booming industry.

The Kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has launched the ‘Game Mode’ initiative, to drive competition among telecom operators to provide the best experience for gamers.

It includes the launch of a quarterly award for the Internet service provider with the best response time for video gaming, a key indicator of the network’s performance, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The first report reveals that Mobily topped the list of average response time in the popular game “Fortnite” in the fourth quarter of 2020, based on an average response time of 21 seconds. This compared with Integrated Telecom at 28 seconds, Zain at 29 seconds, and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) at 35 seconds, for a total national average of 33 seconds.

Soccer video game “FIFA” was also tested by Game Mode, with Zain ending in first place among operators with an average response time of 29 seconds.

The gaming market in the Kingdom is estimated to be worth SR2.6 billion ($690 million) and its growth rate is among the highest in the world. The market is expected to reach SR9.5 billion by the end of the decade.

The Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has also been building its presence in the sector, acquiring more than $3 billion worth of stock in three US video-game makers during the fourth quarter of last year.