Saudi crown prince unveils national strategy for esports, video games. Source: AL-MONITOR

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Saudi crown prince unveils national strategy for esports, video games

Investment in video games is officially forming part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative for economic diversification.

Rob Stothard/Getty Images

An Xbox games console and headset sit backstage at the 2015 Call of Duty European Championships at The Royal Opera House on March 1, 2015, in London, England. – Rob Stothard/Getty Images

Al-Monitor Staff

September 16, 2022

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shared the kingdom’s “National Gaming and Esports Strategy” Thursday, a plan to make Saudi Arabia a leader in the sector by 2030.

Salman said the initiative will contribute $13 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP and create 39,000 jobs by 2030. The strategy is part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. 

Esports refers to playing video games for competitive purposes. 

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Why it matters: Saudi Arabia has shown intense interest in the video game industry under Salman’s leadership. The Salman-led Public Investment Fund bought a 5% stake in Nintendo in May. In August, the fund unveiled shares in US video game developer Take-Two Interactive worth more than $1 billion. 

The Public Investment Fund also launched an esports group of its own in January.

Know more: Esports have grown throughout the region in recent years. Qatar set up a gaming complex in 2019. There is also an increasing number of gaming companies sprouting up in Israel

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