Promoting the Role of Youth in Innovating Digital Entertainment
Committed to its role in supporting and nurturing young national talent in the Kingdom’s digital entertainment sector, Zain KSA sponsored the second edition of the “Make it and Play it for Youth” competition, as a strategic digital sponsor. The sponsorship is part of Zain KSA’s partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and its collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Federation of Electronic Sports (SAFEIS) during the 2021 “Gamers without Borders” season.
The competition targeted young talents from ages 9 to 14, to teach them how to program videogames while offering them guidance and the opportunity to develop their talents and skills. By supporting such young gifted individuals in this area, the initiative enables them to gain hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge, introducing them to the technical aspects of video game development. With the guidance of a group of professional experts, the young participants received training in various areas of video game programming and development. The competition attracted 4,600 participants from across the Kingdom.
In his comment on the initiative, H.E. the Assistant Deputy Minister for Future Skills and Digital Capacities Eng. Faris AlSaqabi stated, “The video game industry is among the fastest growing in the world. Notably, the Kingdom’s video game market is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa, with a total value of more than SAR 3.6 billion and a growth rate of 13% per year.” H.E. further indicated, “We look forward to a bright future where our young men and women in the Kingdom achieve excellence, localize video game development and become pioneers in the industry.”
Furthermore, Zain KSA’s Chief Communications Officer Mr. Rayan bin Abdullah Al-Turki commented on this sponsorship saying, “Wherever our young women and men are, Zain KSA will be there for them. We are always keen to support such special events and initiatives which are consistent with our vision to support the video game industry in the Kingdom and ensure the development of an advanced infrastructure for it to prosper. In turn, these initiatives serve as a fertile ground for discovering, encouraging, and developing Saudi talent especially as the Kingdom is witnessing remarkable development and tremendous growth in this industry. With the rate of developing and programming video games increasing by 41.1% per annum, the Kingdom ranks 19th among the world’s largest video game markets.” Al-Turki also reiterated Zain KSA’s goal of becoming the service provider of choice for the country’s young men and women and its leading provider of telecommunications services and internet solutions, contributing to achieving nation-wide digital transformation in accordance with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, and promoting the Saudi ICT sector by increasing its competitiveness and enriching the quality and variety of the services it provides.
In addition to “Make It and Play It” competition, Zain KSA has recently announced its strategic sponsorship of “ThinkTech Talk” which aims to raise awareness regarding the innovation and development of video games by bringing attention to inspirational local and international experiences in this domain. The forum also offers a platform that brings together numerous experts and entrepreneurs, allowing them to share their ideas and experiences with investors and those interested in the video game industry. Moreover, the event empowers young talent to push the boundaries of innovation and expand their horizons, providing them with the opportunity to start their own businesses whilst being supported within an encouraging environment. Empowered by a supportive digital ecosystem that secures an adequate regulatory framework and the right incentives, young participants can freely innovate and unlock their creativity in video game development. Especially that the video game industry is gaining momentum both globally and within the Kingdom, with 2.81 billion gamers worldwide, representing 36% of the world’s total population.
A testament to its pioneering efforts in promoting the Kingdom’s video game culture, Zain KSA ranked first in the Game Mode report, issued by the Telecommunications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) for the second quarter of 2021, recording the fastest response time in four video games: Fortnite, FIFA 21, APEX Legends and Dota 2 and it also led as the fastest mobile network response time in Riyadh, as per the report.
Earlier this year, Zain KSA also announced its partnership with NVIDIA, the leader in accelerated computing, to launch GeForce NOW exclusively powered by Zain KSA’s 5G network in Saudi Arabia.