In a significant milestone for Saudi Arabia’s growing gaming industry, AstroLabs and IMPACT46, in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s Center of Digital Entrepreneurship (CODE), recently hosted the “Future of Saudi: Gaming Levels Up” event at the cutting-edge CODE Headquarters in Riyadh.
The event attracted a diverse audience, including passionate gamers, gaming entrepreneurs, developers, and key players in the industry. Esteemed figures from the gaming world came together for a thought-provoking panel discussion, shedding light on the future of gaming in the Kingdom.
The panel included prominent individuals like Roland Daher, CEO of AstroLabs, Nasser Alkathiri, Director of Entrepreneurship Empowerment at CODE, Mohammed Alnasyan, Senior Investment Associate at IMPACT46, and Ali Alharbi, Founder and CEO of UMX Studio.
During the panel discussion, various critical topics were explored. These included the strategic importance of the gaming sector in achieving Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals and the necessity to nurture local talent through education and investment.
The release of the “2023 Saudi Gaming Market Outlook Report” added depth to the conversation. The report revealed striking statistics, highlighting that 80% of developers have less than five years of experience, and an impressive 52% are entirely self-taught, underscoring the industry’s early stages of development.
The discussion also emphasized the importance of supporting established studios in their later phases by offering tailored acceleration programs to help them refine their market strategies.
A significant moment at the event was the joint announcement by AstroLabs and IMPACT46 regarding the release of the Arabic version of the “2023 Saudi Gaming Market Outlook Report.” This marked the publication of the first Arabic report on the gaming industry, offering valuable insights into the evolving gaming landscape in Saudi Arabia and solidifying the nation’s position as a global gaming hub.
The event also provided a platform for emerging local gaming studios, which were graduates of the Gamechangers program launched in 2021, to showcase their games to attendees. In 2021, in collaboration with AstroLabs and CODE, the Gamechangers program saw the graduation of 10 gaming studios, with 2 of them receiving the prestigious ‘Most Promising Games Award’ for LEAP23. This event exemplified the ongoing support for local gaming studios.
Moreover, the event highlighted the impressive gender diversity within the Saudi gaming ecosystem, as seen in the Gamechangers program, where a remarkable 60% of the graduating gaming studios were founded by women.
“Future of Saudi: Gaming Levels Up” served as a testament to the collaborative efforts across all aspects of the gaming ecosystem, bringing together government initiatives, investor support, and ecosystem builders to propel Saudi Arabia’s gaming industry to new heights.