Riyadh: A games and esports company is aiming to help establish Saudi Arabia as one of the top three gaming countries in the world.
Brian Ward, the chief executive officer of Savvy Games Group, said his firm’s strategy was designed to contribute toward gross domestic product and create more jobs in the Kingdom.
He told Arab News: “The gaming and esports sector will unlock economic contribution of more than SR50 billion ($13.32 billion) to the Kingdom’s economic prosperity by 2030.
“We are investing in our citizens and gamers to create over 39,000 jobs in development, publishing, infrastructure, and other professions by 2030,” he said.
In September, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled the Savvy Games Group’s strategy, which will see an investment of SR142 billion across four programs.
SR50 billion will be used toward the acquisition and development of a leading game publisher; SR70 billion will be spent on minority stakes in key companies that support Savvy’s game development agenda; SR20 billion will be pumped into mature industry partners capable of adding expertise to Savvy’s portfolio; and the remaining SR2 billion will go toward industry disruptors that will grow early-stage games and esports companies.
Ward noted that one of Savvy’s visions was to establish Saudi Arabia as a “world-class entertainment destination for citizens, residents, and visitors.”
Wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, one of the key factors of the company’s strategy is to drive growth by investing in the video games industry and esports using long-dated capital.
In turn, this is expected to create more opportunities for participation and strengthening partnerships in the games industry, as well as improving user experience.
“(Savvy Games Group’s) contribution to the development of the gaming and esports sector aims to cultivate elite gaming athletes, in addition to establishing global recognition for the Kingdom as one of the top three countries in esports pro gaming,” Ward added.
Savvy’s strategy comes in three phases. The first aims to drive growth by investing in games and esports through deploying significant capital over long-term horizons.
Stage two will involve creating opportunities through growth and progression across the games community, while the third phase will be based on partnerships in the gaming community and improving user experiences across products and services.
Ward pointed out that one of the missions of Savvy was to foster the gaming community in the Kingdom through multiple stages such as the “development of high-tech infrastructure, including venues for KSA gamers to socialize and compete on both local and global scales.”
He said: “This will help nurture and upskill new and existing game creators into high-profile AAA publishers that are globally recognized, as well as provide support by way of advisory and investment or acquisition.”
By 2030, Ward envisions Savvy playing a contributing role in the Kingdom’s growing economy along with being a major player in the global gaming community.
He noted that the national gaming and esports strategy was a comprehensive investment to develop the entire gaming and esports value chain.
“The strategy will foster new career and business opportunities and will make Saudi Arabia a global hub of gaming and esports by 2030,” he added.