Beyond Oil: The Billion-Dollar Industry Saudi's Crown Prince is Betting Big On!
In a conversation with Fox News, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shared a lesser-known facet of his life: a fervent passion for video gaming. He revealed how gaming, a pastime since his younger years, offers a sanctuary from the demands of his royal duties.
The Crown Prince's candid reflections serve as a significant backdrop to Saudi Arabia's emerging emphasis on the esports domain. The country's sovereign wealth fund earmarked nearly $40 Billion to transform it into a global hub for games and esports by 2030.
Through its Savvy Games Group investment arm, the company has already invested $8 billion in the gaming and esports industry. The large majority of these funds were deployed to purchase shares in multiple gaming and esports companies including event organizer ESL Gaming and tournament platform FACEIT.
Saudi Crown Prince explains Why Esports is Growing So Rapidly
Mohammed bin Salman provided insights into Saudi Arabia's deliberate embrace of esports, an industry that's witnessing explosive growth globally. He underscored the remarkable annual returns of 15% to 25% that esports has been accruing for the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
"Esports is emerging as a global sensation," the Crown Prince commented. "Witnessing an annual growth rate of 30%, the returns on PIF's investments in this sphere have been nothing short of spectacular. Its significance is akin to eclipsing Hollywood."
For the Crown Prince, gaming isn't solely about business. It's also a cherished personal pastime, one he indulges in alongside his children and confidants.
As a result of Saudi Arabia's investments in gaming and esports, the country's gaming market, valued at $1 billion in 2021, is projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2030. The country aims to leverage its young population, with 85% of gaming fans in the Middle East and North Africa residing in Saudi Arabia.
The country's popular Gamers8 gaming festival which featured $30 Million USD in prize pool is also rapidly gaining steam as one of the premier events in esports calendars for various games including Dota 2 and PUBG Mobile.
The convergence of these developments, encompassing the Crown Prince's resolute endorsement of esports and the PIF's acquisition of ESL and FACEIT, drives to the right direction for the future of esports in Saudi Arabia and the global esports arena. The Kingdom's substantial investments are poised to invigorate and propel the industry to new heights in the years ahead.