Elevating Saudi Arabia’s Gaming Industry, A Look Inside Future of Saudi: Gaming Levels Up

In a special moment for Saudi Arabia‘s burgeoning gaming sector, AstroLabs and IMPACT46, in partnership with the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s Center of Digital Entrepreneurship (CODE), presented the ‘Future of Saudi: Gaming Levels Up’ event at the state-of-the-art CODE Headquarters in Riyadh.

The event drew a diverse audience that included avid gamers, gaming founders, developers, and industry stakeholders.

Distinguished luminaries from the gaming industry congregated for an insightful panel discussion, shedding light on the trajectory of gaming in the Kingdom.

The panel featured notable figures such as Roland Daher, Chief Executive Officer of AstroLabs, Nasser Alkathiri, Director of Entrepreneurship Empowerment at CODE, Mohammed Alnasyan, Senior Investment Associate at IMPACT46, and Ali Alharbi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at UMX Studio.

The panel deliberated on pivotal topics, including the strategic significance of the gaming sector in realizing Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 objectives and the imperative to nurture local talent through upskilling and investment.

The release of the ‘2023 Saudi Gaming Market Outlook Report’ added substantial depth to the discourse, unveiling striking statistics: 80% of developers possess less than five years of experience, with a remarkable 52% being entirely self-taught, underscoring the sector’s nascent stage.

The conversation also centered on the importance of bolstering mature studios during their later phases by implementing tailored acceleration programs aimed at refining their go-to-market strategies.

One of the moments arrived with the joint announcement by AstroLabs and IMPACT46 of the Arabic version of the ‘2023 Saudi Gaming Market Outlook Report.’ This marked the release of the first Arabic report on the sector, providing invaluable insights into the evolving gaming landscape within Saudi Arabia and solidifying the nation’s standing as a global gaming hub.

The event also served as a platform for up-and-coming local gaming studios, graduates of the Gamechangers program launched in 2021, to showcase their games to attendees. In 2021, the Gamechangers program, in collaboration with AstroLabs and CODE, saw the graduation of 10 gaming studios, with 2 receiving the prestigious ‘Most Promising Games Award’ for LEAP23. This event symbolizes the ongoing empowerment of local gaming studios.

Furthermore, the event shone a spotlight on the remarkable gender diversity within the Saudi gaming ecosystem, as exemplified by the Gamechangers program, where an impressive 60% of the graduating gaming studios were founded by women.

‘Future of Saudi: Gaming Levels Up’ served as a testament to the collaborative spirit across all facets of the gaming ecosystem, bridging the impact of government initiatives, investor support, and ecosystem builders to propel Saudi Arabia’s gaming industry to greater heights.

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