|16 October, 2019

Saudi MCIT, GEA agree on business accelerator for electronic games

Electronic games have generated as estimated revenue of $746mln from the Saudi market in 2018: minister

Image used for illustrative purposes. Gamers play PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) at the Paris Games Week (PGW), a trade fair for video games in Paris, France, October 25, 2018.

Image used for illustrative purposes. Gamers play PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) at the Paris Games Week (PGW), a trade fair for video games in Paris, France, October 25, 2018.

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

RIYADH – The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the Kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a business accelerator to support the development of electronic games locally and build human resources working in the field of digital entertainment.

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Entertainment Industry Conference here. In addition, a joint center for digital innovation was also established, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

It quoted the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Amer Al-Swaha as saying that electronic games have generated as estimated revenue of SR2.8 billion from the Saudi market in 2018.

Al-Swaha announced the launching of the largest package of specialist programs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to accelerate the digital entertainment industry in the Kingdom. This is in addition to launching startups in the electronic games sector via business accelerators specializing in electronic games and training programs of high quality in this field.

Inaugurating the Entertainment Industry Forum, Al-Swaha said: “This program comes within the partnership efforts and integration between the MCIT, GEA and Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) to grab the opportunities in this growing sector.”

Al-Swaha drew attention to the fact that the entertainment industry has witnessed big transformations at the world level during the past few years with a volume of over SR8 trillion, in which the digital and technological transformation is contributing to approximately 55 percent of this sector’s revenues.

Al-Swaha further said: “The Kingdom occupies the first place among the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries in terms of the electronic games market and it is one of the biggest 20 world markets, as it has about 4.6 million active players and the volume of revenues has reached SR2.8 billion in 2018.”

This has necessitated grabbing the available opportunities in the market via integrated work among all the authorities contributing to the digital entertainment industry, he said.

“The Kingdom owns an integrated system of digital capabilities that will help it raise the level of this industry, beginning with the digital infrastructure and ending with the innovation centers to tap the startup technologies and academies for training young Saudis, in addition to programs for supporting and financing the startup projects,” Al-Swaha said.

The MoU was signed by Al-Swaha, and Turki Bin Abdulmohsen Al-Asheikh, advisor at the Royal Court and GEA chairman, in the presence of a number of officials.

 

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