Misk Global Forum salutes gaming and anime fans

Misk Global Forum salutes gaming and anime fans
Speakers at the discussion panels discussed how the anime and gaming communities have grown in Saudi Arabia (AN Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 18 November 2023
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Misk Global Forum salutes gaming and anime fans

Misk Global Forum salutes gaming and anime fans
  • Manga Production presented its latest game, “Grendizer,” while speakers highlighted the growth of anime and gaming in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has become a multibillion-dollar market for gaming and anime, a Misk Global Forum session has heard.

A panel discussion entitled “Anime Meets Controller: The Synergy of Anime,” on the second day of the forum in Riyadh shed light on the Kingdom’s growing community of anime and esports fans.

The discussion featured Shuzo Shiota, president and executive producer of Polygon Pictures; Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions; and Yves Blehaut, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at French video game company Microids; and was moderated by Daliyah Abuabah. 

During the panel, Manga Production presented its latest game, “Grendizer,” while speakers highlighted the growth of anime and gaming in Saudi Arabia.

“We have 13 million viewers of anime and 23.5 million lovers of games in Saudi Arabia. And the size of the market for video games in Saudi Arabia is $1 billion,” Bukhary said. 

“This market is expected to grow to $13.5 billion for games and esports.” 

“Grendizer” was developed in partnership with the French firm Microids, and Blehaut said that he was surprised by the strong interest in anime in the MENA region. 

“When you try to tap into markets, what’s really important is not the money, it’s not geography, it’s the product. If you don’t have the product, you cannot do anything,” he said. 

Blehaut also discussed the benefits of incorporating an adversary into “Grendizer.”

“Why do a game? It’s because the anime was so powerful in terms of storytelling. The beauty of ‘Grendizer’ is that it carries value that is pretty much worldwide,” he said. 

According to Shiota, the MENA region, especially the audience who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, adore ‘Grendizer’ and its message.

In order for an audience to invest in a story, they must fall in love with the world and the characters of the game or anime, he said. 

Shiota spoke about future collaboration between the Misk Academy and the gaming system. 

“I believe collaboration is the key to understanding each medium’s strength and playing on that strength. And I think it is more and more important now because of the wealth of content that’s available, especially after the streamers have come in, and especially currently, with the predominant medium, which is smartphones, and people enjoying shorter and shorter content.” 


First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative

First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative
Updated 20 sec ago
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First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative

First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative
  • The Saudi leadership has prioritized caring for the pilgrims and creating an atmosphere of faith during their Hajj journey

RIYADH: The first group of Hajj pilgrims from Morocco arrived at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah on Saturday, having departed from Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca.

The pilgrims have traveled to the Kingdom through the Makkah Route Initiative.

The initiative aims to make the journey for pilgrims to complete Hajj as easy as possible, through electronic registration in their country of origin, including those related to immigration, health, luggage, travel, and housing in Makkah and Madinah.

They are transported by buses on designated routes, with service agencies delivering their luggage to their places of stay, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The MRI is part of the Ministry of Interior’s Pilgrim Experience Program (PEP), a pillar of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Now in its sixth year, the initiative is carried out in cooperation with a host public and semi-government authorities, including the ministries of foreign affairs, health, Hajj and Umrah, media, civil aviation, the Zakat, Tax and Customs authority, SDAIA and PEP.

The Saudi leadership has prioritized caring for the pilgrims and creating an atmosphere of faith during their Hajj journey.

Pilgrims who have been arriving in recent days have expressed their “gratitude to the Kingdom’s government for the services and facilities that have been provided, making their pilgrimage safe and reassuring,” Saudi Press Agency said.


King Salman, Crown Prince congratulate King Abdullah II on Jordan’s national day

King Salman, Crown Prince congratulate King Abdullah II on Jordan’s national day
Updated 25 May 2024
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King Salman, Crown Prince congratulate King Abdullah II on Jordan’s national day

King Salman, Crown Prince congratulate King Abdullah II on Jordan’s national day

RIYADH: King Salman sent a cable of congratulations to King Abdullah II of Jordan on the occasion of his country's independence day on Saturday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

King Salman wished King Abdullah continued good health and happiness, and the government and people of Jordan further progress and prosperity.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also sent a similar cable to the Jordanian king.

The messages from the Saudi leadership were among dozens sent by global leaders and heads of international organizations, including the speaker of the Arab Parliament.

Adel bin Abdulrahman Al-Asoumi wished Jordan and its people “more security, stability, and prosperity.”

He also praised the “civilizational achievements made by the kingdom under the leadership of King Abdullah II in all areas that have made the kingdom a leading regional and international model.”  


Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties
Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

RIYADH: The Saudi-Kosovo Parliamentary Friendship Committee, led by Khalid Al-Bawardi, the committee’s chairman and Saudi Shoura Council member, met with Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kreshnik Ahmeti and other officials in Pristina.

Discussions aimed to boost bilateral relations and parliamentary cooperation between the Shoura Council and Kosovo Parliament, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

Faisal Hifzi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Albania and non-resident ambassador to Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, attended the meeting.

Additionally, the committee met with Podujeva’s Mayor Shpejtim Bulliqi and discussed cooperation in municipal affairs. The mayor praised Saudi Arabia’s environmental conservation efforts.

The Shoura Council delegation also engaged with local companies, reviewing Kosovo’s future projects and discussing opportunities for economic cooperation.


Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week
Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 17,030 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

According to an official report, a total of 10,662 people were arrested for violations of residency laws, while 4,147 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,221 for labor-related issues.

The report showed that among the 1,119 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 71 percent were Ethiopian, 27 percent Yemeni, and 2 percent were of other nationalities.

A further 65 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and 17 were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.

Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.


KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen
Updated 25 May 2024
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KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief  continued its humanitarian projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen.
In Sudan, the agency distributed 950 personal hygiene kits to displaced and needy families in Kosti, benefiting 5,463 individuals. In Wad Sharifi, 330 food parcels were provided to displaced families, benefiting 1,710 individuals. 
Meanwhile in Lebanon, KSrelief continued its implementation of the Al-Amal Charitable Bakery Project in Akkar and Miniyeh. The project distributed 150,000 loaves of bread daily to Syrian and Palestinian refugee families, or about 62,500 individuals.
In Yemen, 897 food parcels were delivered in Al-Abr, benefiting 6,237 individuals, as part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian initiative.
in Somalia, KSrelief continued providing medical services in collaboration with the Kidney Dialysis Center at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu. The center catered to a total of 384 patients and assisted dialysis, medical examination and emergency sessions.