This money will be used to create game studios, esports organizations and buy at least one major publisher.
Saudi Arabia has big plans for the video game industry. According to the recently announced strategy of the Savvy Gaming Group (which is owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund), the country plans to spend $37.8 billion on acquisitions, investments and the creation of its own gaming studio.
The strategy statement says Savvy has earmarked $13 billion “to acquire and grow a leading game publisher to become a strategic development partner,” while $18 billion will be used for ” minority investments in key companies that support Savvy’s game development program.” Just over $5 billion will go to “mature industry partners who add value and expertise to Savvy’s portfolio” and $500 million will go to “industry disruptors” and ” esports companies.
This is all part of the country’s Vision 2030 policy, which calls for the launch of a global game studio in Saudi Arabia. The ambitious goal of the National Gaming and Esports Strategy is to release 30 competitive games and have 250 gaming companies operating in the country by 2030, creating over 39,000 jobs.
“Savvy Games Group is part of our ambitious strategy to make Saudi Arabia the ultimate global hub for the gaming and esports industry by 2030,” said Savvy Gaming Group Chairman, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “We are harnessing the untapped potential of the esports and gaming sector to diversify our economy, drive innovation in the sector and further develop esports entertainment and competition offerings across the Kingdom.”
Saudi Arabia, through the Savvy Gaming Group and the Public Investment Fund, has already made significant investments in gaming. Savvy bought esports organizations ESL and FaceIT for $1.5 billion earlier this year, alongside a $1 billion stake in Embracer Group.
The Saudi crown prince’s growing involvement in the video game industry has raised concerns, as bin Salman was heavily implicated in the murder of journalist and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi.
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