The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), the Saudi communications regulator, has launched a new initiative aimed at improving the nation’s growing gaming sector. It is called “Game Mode” and it aims to encourage competition between the telecom operators in the region.
The country’s gaming sector is predicted to nearly quadruple in size by 2030 and the “Game Mode” initiative looks to improve the state of the networks in the country to take advantage of that. They want to provide a better experience for the gaming customers, improve transparency in the industry itself, and make the industry more enticing to investors by providing key data and indicators on the sector’s performance.
The press release
According to the press release from the Saudi Press Agency:
“The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) launched the ‘Game Mode’ initiative, with the aim of enhancing Saudi Arabia’s booming gaming sector. This comes within the framework of CITC’s work to encourage healthy competition among telecom operators to provide the best experience for gamers, raise the level of transparency in the market, and enable investors and the public with key data and indicators on the sector’s performance.
“The Game Mode initiative includes the launch of a quarterly award for the internet service provider with the best response time for video gaming, a key indicator of the network’s performance. In addition, the commission will start the publication of quarterly reports comparing response times among service providers across some of the most popular video games in the Kingdom.”
The gaming and esports industry in Saudi Arabia
The gaming and esports industry in Saudi Arabia is currently valued at $1.09 billion. This places the kingdom as the 19th biggest gaming market in the world. They are currently experiencing massive growth of 41.1 percent year-on-year with more than 21.2 million gamers across the country. This includes the esports market as well as casual gamers.
The importance of esports
Speaking about the growth to Arabian Business, Kaswara Al Khatib, chairman of the board, Webedia Arabia Group and founder of UTURN – the Saudi digital media machine, had this to say:
“For us, the smart thing to do was to start investing in Esports. Either you go ahead and you start from scratch and you grow organically at a time when things are moving very fast, or as a company you look at what’s out there that has big potential, already engages a large audience, to acquire and help scale and grow.”
That does seem like the smart move for a country that has a rapidly developing gaming industry, one of the best ways to support the industry in region while it develops is to find other ways to make money without developing games. Industries like esports betting and tournament organising are a great way to boost the popularity of gaming while also making money for the sector.
Some major esports tournaments are already being held in the kingdom, they include the PUBG Mobile Global Championship in Dubai and the PUBG Mobile Star Challenge World Cup in Riyadh. The esports market is rapidly growing all around the world and it is good to see that government agencies are investing their time and money in helping it grow.