The rapidly growing gaming market in Saudi Arabia has received a huge boost after Dubai-based e-sports brand, True Gamers, signed a franchise deal worth $45 million with investment firm, Falak, reports Meed.

The investment will involve the creation of 150 e-sports clubs across Saudi and seeks to capitalize on a market that is expected to expand by over 8% annually over the next three years, eventually meeting a market value of $1.3 billion by 2027.

The first e-sports venue following the deal is expected to be opened within the next six months in Jeddah. By the end of 2024, the aim is to have ten venues operating throughout the Kingdom. There are also plans to benefit from True Gamers’ qualities as an event organizer in the UAE, where it already hosts tournaments, with plans to roll out similar events throughout Saudi Arabia.

True Gamers said the deal had the potential “to play a pivotal role in propelling the growth of the Kingdom’s e-sports industry” and help foster “a vibrant gaming community within Suadi Arabia” making it “accessible to a broader audience in Saudi Arabia and beyond.”

The growth of the e-sports market in Saudi Arabia is a part of Saudi Vision 2030, as well as the government’s National Gaming and Esports Strategy, which plans to create 39,000 jobs and unlock over $13.3 billion in value by the end of the decade.

Saudi Arabia is going all-in on e-sports

This latest investment follows a string of developments within the e-gaming sector in Saudi Arabia that show clear intent on following through with this particular aspect of Saudi Vision 2030.

In December 2023, a new world-class arena was revealed to be in the works in Riyadh. The unveiling of the multi-billion dollar Qiddiya entertainment district outlined plans for a 5,000+ seater e-sports arena, which will feature one of the world’s largest total areas of video screens and 4D haptic seating, which will allow spectators to feel every shot, explosion, and goal.

The entertainment district is expected to attract around 10 million visitors a year and will feature gaming-themed hotels and apartments.

Furthermore, the introduction of e-sports-focused categories in the upcoming Arab Game Awards underlines Saudi Arabia’s emergence as a global force in competitive gaming.

Featured Image: Photo by Ella Don on Unsplash

James Jones

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