Saudi Arabia looks to blockchain gaming and Web3 to diversify economy


Saudi Arabia has ramped up its financial diversification efforts pushed by its formidable Vision 2030. 

In a bid to diversify its economy away from a dependence on oil, the dominion has embraced rising applied sciences, corresponding to blockchain and synthetic intelligence (AI), and tapped into booming markets like gaming.

But whereas the nation has but to go away a major mark within the international sport and AI growth, the ripples of its investments within the gaming sector may prolong far past — at the least, that’s what Web3 consultants say.

“Based on our work and communications that we have, Saudi [Arabia] is very, very interested in Web3,” Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu instructed Cointelegraph.

Given the dominion’s partnerships with entities corresponding to The Sandbox and even Animoca, Siu sees that there’s an effort from Saudi to enterprise into the brand new iteration of the web. The govt stated:

“I think Saudi [Arabia] understands the principle that Web3 gaming or blockchain gaming — the one that we actually prove the owner assets — is going to be the future of gaming.”

Thanks to the curiosity of its younger, tech-savvy inhabitants, Saudi Arabia, together with the United Arab Emirates, is driving the expansion of the Middle East’s gaming market. According to a Boston Consulting Group report, the dominion represents 45% of the sector within the area, with a worth of greater than $1.8 billion. It additionally boasts one of many largest sport revenues within the space, according to sport content material studio Allcorrect.

In 2017, the dominion established the Saudi Esports Federation to regulate and develop the nation’s gaming trade.

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Bloomberg reported in April that Saudi Arabia, by means of its Public Investment Fund, invested $38 billion within the sector because it looks to change into a worldwide gaming hub.

Although the Saudi authorities understands the “high-level concept” of Web3, its potential, and the way it can align with esports — the place groups can personal stakes in video games they play — Siu stated it stays unclear what its integrations to gaming can be due to the absence of clear guidelines on cryptocurrency and different digital belongings:

“Cryptocurrency is something that is still to be explored. It’s being investigated. I think [Saudi Arabia is] quite forward about how to deal with it. But they haven’t come up with anything yet.” 

“In places like Hong Kong, Japan and the UAE, there’s much more clarity as to what you can do with crypto and Web3. You can map out a strategy,” Siu added.

While it stays to be seen what Saudi Arabia’s Web3 gaming functions would appear to be, Siu famous that the dominion is different markets and studying.

“That’s why they’re talking to us. Because they want to know what the best practices are and how they can learn,” the chief defined. “There are very few places in the world that we’ve seen such a hunger and desire to sort of be at the cutting edge.”

“You can feel sort of the desire to have progress and to lead in Saudi Arabia. I think that’s kind of unique,” Siu added.

How gaming can spur Web3 adoption

While pushback from the normal gaming neighborhood and developers persists, Siu claims a profitable conversion of customers into Web3, whether or not it’s in gaming or not, ought to include monetary literacy.

“You can’t really be a true Web3 user if you don’t have at least a certain level of financial literacy that goes above and beyond having a bank account,” Siu stated.

Gamers in Saudi Arabia. Source: Allcorrect sport content material studio

The Animoca co-founder claimed that almost all Web2 customers usually are not capital buyers as a result of they’re largely labor individuals in contrast to Web3 individuals who perceive investing.

“What we found is that the path to Web3 mass adoption isn’t giving [Web2 users] just a wallet. That’s actually the easiest part. The harder part is how to make them aware that what they now have is an asset that has potential value, and it could do things and has different network effects that need to be maintained as real value.”

Meanwhile, Mythical Games CEO John Linden instructed Cointelegraph that he already sees Web3 adoption within the gaming sector, albeit at a slower tempo.

“I think we’re seeing some [adoption] already. We’re seeing people that they’re introducing the [Web3] concept. They do understand the concept of buying and selling assets,” Linden stated.

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The gaming trade veteran identified that Web3 ought to improve consumer expertise and not simply give them the means to generate revenue:

“[Web3 gaming developers] have to focus on new game models. When you start doing that, it introduces creator economy, digital supply chain, ownership of guilds and the ability to come up with your own theory within the game itself.”

“Those are principles I think gamers will attach to,” Linden added.

The Mythical Games CEO initiatives that the Web3 gaming phase may onboard 50 to 100 million gamers within the subsequent two years, with their very own titles focusing on 10 million by the top of 2023.

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