Revenue from gaming in Saudi Arabia will reach $6.8 billion in 2030 if current growth trajectories continue, according to the latest report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

There are 23.5 million gaming enthusiasts in the kingdom, which accounts for 67 percent of its national population, while 21.1 million have already played esports titles on a semi-pro or amateur basis, with around 100 playing for their full-time careers, the report said.

“Given the growth potential of the kingdom’s gaming and esports community, the coming period represents an advantageous opportunity to ensure related benefits are fully capitalised upon in due course,” the report, Gaming & Esports: Media’s Next Paradigm Shift, said.

Povilas Joniskis, Partner, BCG, said: “Despite the kingdom being a relatively recent entrant to this space, the industry is vibrant and fast-growing, nevertheless.

“Passionate gamers are primarily powering its growth and popularity at present, and it is more than feasible for them to embark on full-time careers and become involved on the international stage.

“Yet first, key barriers concerning aspiring Saudi competitors and professionals must be overcome.”

Challenges to growth include a lack of funding to compete full-time as well as social stigma associated with choosing a career in gaming and esports, the report said.

However, the kingdom’s leadership now has the opportunity to capitalise on widespread passion for gaming to translate the high level of consumption intensity to a corresponding production intensity, it concluded.

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)

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