Op-ed: His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation


The Next World Forum, to be held in Riyadh on August 30-31, is the ideal setting for the global leaders of gaming and esports to gather and ask tough questions of each other and our industry at large. The answers will help shape the future of gaming and esports, an industry worth around $170 billion – more than Hollywood and the music industry combined.

Challenging conversations – ones that result in action – are very necessary, as demonstrated by the progress achieved since last year’s inaugural edition of the Next World Forum, which is organized by the Saudi Esports Federation.

More than 1,000 people, delegates from across the globe, gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center last year. Even more will do so this year. By bringing together leaders and experts from around the world, the event is fostering a culture of enquiry, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. It is creating an environment where new models of working can be debated, discussed, and developed to create a positive impact on the industry. And that’s vital.

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The fact that gaming and esports have immense potential is abundantly obvious – the industry is estimated to be worth around $665 billion by 2030, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 21.5%. But the crucial factor is ensuring that potential is fully fulfilled.

That means asking tough questions about esports and the Olympics, the expansion of competitive gaming, challenges for women in gaming leadership, the relationship between gaming and other forms of entertainment, mental and physical health in gaming, and much more.

It also means asking tough questions about Saudi Arabia’s place in the industry, as our country continues its journey towards becoming a global hub for gaming and esports.

Showcasing new ideas, investment, and talent development, the Forum is an ideal setting to highlight Saudi Arabia’s thriving role in the sector, as the nation strives to contribute substantially to the dynamic value chain.

This is especially pertinent because it is more evident than ever that gaming and esports, and its associated industries, are becoming valid career paths for many, not just in Saudi Arabia but globally.

The Next World Forum will generate dialogue and offer insights that enable the next generation of talented individuals pondering career paths in gaming and esports to better understand the landscape as it grows and evolves.

Delegates at the Next World Forum will include ministers of sport from leading nations, ambassadors, investors, gamers, developers, tech providers, start-ups, public sector representatives, brands and advertisers, publishers, broadcasters, federations, and leagues.

They will be present at the Next World Forum for the launch of the Gamers8 Club Awards, the new and innovative rewards format that will revolutionize the world of esports. The timing of the launch, after the conclusion of Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, the biggest gaming and esports festival worldwide, which took place in Riyadh over eight weeks featuring 16 elite tournaments from 13 titles, is particularly apt.

Because as the leaders of our industry and associated sectors gather in Riyadh for two days of bright ideas and illuminating discussion, we ask them to think how best they can positively impact the future of gaming and esports. Please do ask tough questions at the Next World Forum. Because doing so will help create and shape the most prosperous future for us all.

More information on the Next World Forum can be found at https://www.nextwrld.sa/en.