Saudi Arabia has announced a plan to invest $38 billion to establish itself as a gaming hub over the next decade. This move is part of the country’s broader effort to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on oil. The investment is expected to create 200,000 new jobs and generate up to $3 billion in annual revenue.
The initiative, known as the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, aims to develop a new gaming industry in the country and attract global video game developers to set up studios in the Kingdom. The plan includes the creation of a new city, called “Gamer’s Boulevard,” which will be dedicated to gaming and esports.
The city will include several world-class gaming facilities, including a stadium with a capacity of 10,000 spectators, training centers for gamers and developers, and residential areas for gamers and their families. The project is expected to start in 2022, with the construction of the first facilities scheduled for completion in 2023.
The Kingdom’s gaming industry is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 22% between 2020 and 2025, according to a recent report by ResearchAndMarkets.com. The report also noted that the country has one of the highest video game penetration rates in the world, with more than 25 million gamers.
Saudi Arabia’s push to become a gaming hub is part of a broader effort to modernize its economy and society, including the recent lifting of a ban on cinemas and allowing concerts and other forms of entertainment.