Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group Is Making The Kingdom A New Hub For The Gaming Industry

Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group Is Making The Kingdom A New Hub For The Gaming Industry

Savvy Games Group (SGG), the games and esports subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund, has been reported by Bloomberg to have invested $38 billion to develop the gaming sector of the Kingdom. This is in line with a statement made in September 2022 by Saudi Arabia Crown Price HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is the Chairman of the Board of Savvy Games Group, in which he said that the entity’s strategy aims to “make Saudi Arabia the ultimate global hub for the games and esports sector by 2030.”

SGG has then announced that it will invest SAR142 billion across four programs each with specific objectives: SAR50 billion for the acquisition and development of a leading game publisher, SAR70 billion for a series of minority stake investments, SAR2 billion for diversified investments in early-stage games and esports companies, and SAR20 billion for mature industry partners who add value and expertise to SGG’s portfolio. SGG is currently comprised of five operating companies, each of which has a separately defined mandate and set of core objectives. “At Savvy Games Group, we are dedicated to driving the growth of the sector globally, leading with significant investment, enabling more game developers and technology innovators, and facilitating broader, more equitable access to this fast-growing, dynamic sector,” says SGG Group CEO Brian Ward on the entity’s website.

SGG has, so far, been able to build a portfolio of free-to-play franchises including Star TrekTM Fleet Command, Stumble Guys, Scrabble® GO, Yahtzee® With Buddies, and more. Most recently, the group entered into an agreement to acquire California-headquartered games publisher and developer Scopely for US$4.9 billion. The MENA region’s gaming market is considered the fastest growing in the world, with it reported to have over 377 million estimated players, which is almost as many gamers as all of Europe combined (386 million), and much more than America (210 million), as per Pocket Gamer Connects. However, this growth is expected to rise even more- a report by consultancy RedSeer noted that the MENA gaming market was projected to increase by 19% to be worth more than $5 billion by 2025. Looking specifically at Saudi Arabia, a Boston Consulting Group report expects gaming consumption in Saudi Arabia to reach $6.8 billion by 2030.

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