RIYADH: Gaming buff Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is set to invest $37.7 billion in Savvy Games Group to make the kingdom a global hub for games and esports by 2030.
“Savvy Games Group is one part of our ambitious strategy aiming to make Saudi Arabia the ultimate global hub for the games and esports sector by 2030,” the crown prince said.
“We are harnessing the untapped potential across the esports and games sector to diversify our economy, drive innovation in the sector, and further scale the entertainment and esports competition offerings across the Kingdom,” he added.
Fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, Savvy’s strategy is to drive growth by investing in the videogames industry and esports with a unique long-term investment horizon and long-dated capital, creating more opportunities for participation and strengthening partnerships in the games industry, as well as improving the user experience.
Saudi Press Agency reported that the launch of the Savvy Games Group’s strategy will enable and support the recently announced national gaming and esports strategy, as Savvy will invest in several local and international programs and infrastructure in order to provide training, education, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
It is also expected to attract international companies to Saudi Arabia through investments and partnerships that will contribute to providing skills, knowledge transfer, and building capabilities in the whole ecosystem.
It will also establish 250 game companies in the Kingdom, which will create 39,000 jobs, and raise the sector’s GDP contribution to SR50 billion by 2030.
Savvy’s investments will be based around four key pillars, including enhancing returns, local impact, leaving a global footprint and expansion, leading to international games investing, generating sustainable returns, and enabling creators across the entire value chain.
Savvy will accelerate talent in the Kingdom and catalyze Saudi Arabia’s unique geographical location to build the dominant global hub for games and esports.
As a part of the group’s investment strategy, it is set to invest SR142 billion across four programs each with specific objectives. Some SR50 billion has been earmarked for the acquisition and development of a leading game publisher to become a strategic development partner. Another SR70 billion will see Savvy make a series of minority stake investments in key companies that support its game development agenda, SR2 billion in diversified investments in industry disruptors to grow early-stage games and esports companies, and SR20 billion invested into mature industry partners who add value and expertise to Savvy’s portfolio.