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Saudi Arabia ready to enter global esports’ stage with 21m gamers: Prince Faisal bin Bandar

RIYADH: Almost two-thirds of Saudis consider themselves regular gamers, as the Kingdom’s gaming sector continues to flourish, according to Prince Faisal bin Bandar, chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation. 

While speaking at the Next World Forum in Riyadh on Sept. 7, Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia has undergone an amazing journey in the esporting sector over the last five years and has a strong community within the Kingdom. 

“In a population of 34 million Saudis, 63 percent or 21 million consider themselves gamers. This is a community of young gamers,” said Prince Faisal. 

During his speech, Prince Faisal noted that gaming is unifying human beings irrespective of their backgrounds.

“One of my favorite things about gaming is that you first introduce yourself to someone using your gaming skills, and not history, religion, color of skin, background, or gender,” he added.

Prince Faisal noted that Saudi Arabia is set to enter the global stage in the esporting sector, as the Kingdom has all the necessary resources to elevate the industry on an international scale. 

“The community is there. We have the ability to compete. We have shown that we can host some of the largest events. Young men and women have earned the right to compete on the global stage,” he further said. 

He added: “This young community and population are really striving to take their place on the global stage. The ultimate goal is to have Saudi Arabia move on a natural path on the global pathway for games and esports.” 

Prince Faisal noted that counties like the US, South Korea, Japan, and China are dominating the gaming industry now, and soon, Saudi Arabia’s name will be also mentioned in the list of those countries which have a strong esports sector. 

The Next World Forum – Gaming & Esports Unleashed is hosted by the Saudi Esports Federation. The forum brings together a host of speakers from across the gaming and esports industries, along with featuring a series of activations, bilateral meetings, and investment opportunities. 

In January, a report from Boston Consulting Group predicted that Saudi Arabia is expected to take a leading role in the gaming and esports industry as consumption is projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2030, up from $959 million in 2020. 

The report expected an average annual compounded growth rate of 22 percent for the Saudi gaming consumption. 

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