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Future Outlook for the Gaming Sector in the Middle East

The next decade will be critical in determining the trajectory of this sector, and with the right investments and strategic directions, it can make a significant contribution to the region’s future

R bronze Author: Razaq Salem
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In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, the gaming industry emerges as one of the fastest-growing sectors globally, with its impact particularly noticeable in the Middle East. With a burgeoning young population, enhanced internet accessibility, and an increase in smart device usage, this sector is set to play a crucial role in shaping the region’s economic and cultural landscape in the coming decade.

The expansion of technology and infrastructure in the Middle East creates an ideal environment for the growth of gaming, with significant investments in digital infrastructure enabling broader access to video games, whether through mobile devices or home gaming platforms. Additionally, there is an increasing demand for games that reflect local cultures and regional narratives, offering local game developers an opportunity to produce content that resonates with users.

However, as the sector expands, challenges related to regulation and content monitoring arise, particularly in a region that places high importance on cultural and ethical values. Moreover, with the increase in online activities, security risks escalate, necessitating continuous investment from companies in gaming security and the protection of user data.

Recently, there has been a surge in investment interest in the gaming sector, as investors begin to recognize the substantial potential of the Arab market. Gaming companies that offer innovative and unique experiences attract significant investments, further driving growth across the sector.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund is increasingly focusing on the gaming sector, investing in global companies such as Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts, and establishing the Savvy Games Group to transform the Kingdom into a global gaming hub. The fund supports local companies and forms strategic partnerships, contributing to the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to diversify the economy.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund holds notable investments in the gaming sector, with $2.9 billion in Activision Blizzard and $1.7 billion in Electronic Arts. These investments, which represent 21.9% of the fund’s total investments in the U.S. market, underscore its strategy to enhance the global gaming sector and support its growth.

Saudi Arabia has announced that it will host the World eSports Cup, which will take place annually in Riyadh starting in the summer of 2024. This event, one of the largest in the field of eSports, will feature a variety of games across different genres.  Future Outlook for the Gaming Sector in the Middle East

This initiative is part of the national gaming and eSports strategy, aimed at increasing the sector’s contribution to the Saudi GDP by more than 50 billion Saudi riyals and creating 39,000 new jobs by 2030. The events will also boost tourism during the summer, as announced during the recent global sports conference hosted by the Kingdom.

The gaming sector in the Middle East is more than just a source of entertainment; it represents a gateway to vast economic, cultural, and social opportunities. The next decade will be critical in determining the trajectory of this sector, and with the right investments and strategic directions, it can make a significant contribution to the region’s future.

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