MBC GROUP and NEOM signed a joint venture (JV) agreement to establish the first AAA games development studio in the region.
The studio will relocate to NEOM’s Media Hub in 2023 and produce high-production-value games for local, regional, and international gamers.
As for NEOM, it seeks to establish a new center for the region’s media and creative industries by creating a physically and technologically integrated creative media hub focused on screen production, gaming, and digital publishing.
MBC GROUP is leading the development of new media industries that will further diversify the Saudi economy while providing exciting career paths for future generations.
Job opportunities in gaming
The gaming studio will generate opportunities for Saudi and regional gamers and developers looking to develop a career in the gaming industry.
As such, the studio expects to create significant job opportunities across many directly linked industries inclusive of distribution, marketing, publishing, and supporting services.
Commenting on the partnership, NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said: “We know there is a growing convergence between gaming and the media sector more broadly, so by building one we are helping the other grow. Establishing this studio creates future-proof career paths and job opportunities in an environment that fosters creativity, entrepreneurship, and talent development, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”
As for Waleed Al Ibrahim, MBC GROUP Chairman, he said: “Our partnership with NEOM unlocks new opportunities in the region’s media industry, which will enable Saudi Arabia to emerge as a leading global media hub. MBC will put all of its expertise behind this project to become an economic and technical incubator for a new generation of media talent, in keeping with the Kingdom’s efforts to support all aspects of the industry.”
Market size of gaming
The size of the gaming market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) reached $6 billion in 2021. The potential for this new gaming studio in NEOM is to develop the sector in Saudi.
For their part, NEOM and MBC continue to collaborate across the media sector, in parallel with Saudi’s focus on supporting the media and production industry. Both organizations are working on a series of well-known television shows and films that will be announced soon. This follows their collaboration on the production of the major Hollywood film “Desert Warrior” in 2021.