Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is investing $38 billion to establish the country as a major player in the global video game industry, as part of its strategy to diversify the economy away from oil.
- Savvy Games Group, a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, aims to develop, publish, and acquire top-tier games and support the gaming industry in Riyadh, focusing more on game publishing and development rather than esports.
- The fund has already made multibillion-dollar investments in gaming companies like Nintendo, Tencent Holdings, and Activision Blizzard, and plans to leverage those connections to build Savvy’s business and establish partnerships with international publishers.
- Saudi Arabia currently has a small footprint in global game development, but the rapidly increasing population of gamers in the country presents significant potential for growth.
- The Middle East and North Africa games market is expected to grow by 56% to $2.79 billion by 2026, making it a strategically important sector for a forward-thinking government like Saudi Arabia’s.
- Savvy Games Studios, one of Savvy’s operating companies, plans to develop a mobile game and a console game. However, building a game studio from scratch is challenging, and there is a need to close the skill gap by introducing new policies to support education and training.