RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's mega city NEOM and MBC Group, the biggest broadcaster in the Middle East and North Africa, signed an agreement to establish the first AAA games development studio in the region.
AAA is a classification within the gaming industry that label games produced and distributed by midsized or big publishers that usually have higher budgets.
The studio will relocate to NEOM’s Media Hub in 2023 and produce high-production-value games for local, regional and international gamers, NEOM said in a tweet.
The facility is expected to create significant job opportunities across many directly linked industries, The National reported citing a joint statement by both entities, on Thursday.
“We are now developing promising opportunities locally, regionally and globally by nurturing the Saudi game-development market,” Neom’s chief executive Nadhmi Al-Nasr said.
The gaming market across Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt will be worth $3.14 billion by 2025, according to California-based market research and consulting firm Niko Partners.
Gaming consumption in the Kingdom is projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2030 and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 22 per cent through 2030 from $959 million in 2020, Boston Consulting Group reported.
We are kicking off a new era of creativity with @MBC_Group to establish the first AAA games development studio in the region - it will relocate to NEOM’s Media Hub in 2023 and produce high-production-value games for local, regional and international gamers. #NEOM pic.twitter.com/zJTDrkAq1B
— NEOM (@NEOM) February 10, 2022
“We know there is a growing convergence between gaming and the media sector more broadly, so by building one we are helping the other grow. Establishing this studio creates future-proof career paths and job opportunities in an environment that fosters creativity, entrepreneurship, and talent development, in line with Saudi Vision 2030,” Al-Nasr added.
Following their collaboration on the production of the Hollywood film “Desert Warrior” in 2021, NEOM and MBC Group are also working on a series of TV shows and films that will be announced soon.
“Our partnership with NEOM unlocks new opportunities in the region’s media industry, which will enable Saudi Arabia to emerge as a leading global media hub,” Al-Ibrahim added.