April 22, 2024
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(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 30, 2019 an attendee tries out the new Oculus Quest Virtual Reality (VR) gaming system at the Facebook F8 Conference at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.. - Key chapters in the history of Facebook, the world's biggest social media application, which marks the tenth anniversary Wednesday of its stock market debut. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg rang the opening bell remotely to cheers 10 years ago as the beloved social network made its stock market debut, culminating an all-night hackathon that included street hockey, costumes and music. The Silicon Valley tech colossus rebranded as Meta has since seen its image tainted by accusations it has become a tech tyrant, putting profit over user privacy and even the good of society. (Photo by Amy Osborne / AFP)

The Next World Forum, an esports and gaming forum that will bring together sector leaders and experts from around the world, is to be held on Wednesday, September 7 and Thursday, September 8 in Riyadh.

Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh At Kingdom Center, the inaugural Next World Forum is where the global gaming and esports community will gather to discuss the development of this vibrant, economically flourishing, and collaborative ecosystem.

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

Organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, the Next World Forum additionally brings the curtain down on the phenomenally successful summer season of Gamers8, the biggest esports and gaming event worldwide, which is currently being held at Boulevard Riyadh City.

With a highly impressive list of speakers, those attending the Next World Forum include ministers of sport from various leading nations, investors, gamers, developers, tech providers, start-ups, public sector representatives, brands and advertisers, publishers, broadcasters, and federations and leagues. 

His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “The Next World Forum is an opportunity to shape the future agenda of esports and gaming, including the complete capture of full sector growth through investment and collaboration.”

“All of us involved in gaming – an industry bigger than Hollywood and the music industry combined – are abundantly aware that there is still enormous room for development and advancement. But while we know that gaming is growing exponentially, the key aspect is about how we work together to make it even better.”

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His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan

“It is imperative that we propel a gaming and esports sector that offers rich opportunities for industry and governments while meeting and exceeding new expectations from gamers around business models.”

“In pursuing that quest, Saudi Arabia, which has an aim to become not just one of the global leaders in esports and gaming, but the global leader is a fitting host for the Next World Forum.”

“We look forward immensely to welcoming the esports and gaming world to Riyadh on September 7 and 8, as we convene for productive, purposeful, progressive, and prosperous discussions.” His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan concluded

More than 1,200 delegates from across the globe will gather in Riyadh to discuss the most pertinent issues in esports and gaming at the in-person Forum.

High-level speakers at the Next World Forum include His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation; Chester King, CEO, British Esports & Vice-President, Global Esports Federation; Mario Pérez Guerreira CEO, MENA & Partner, GGTech; Sayo Olowabi, Security General, Africa Esports Development Federation (AEDF); and Grant Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Esports Entertainment Group.

Across two days, the Next World Forum will highlight:

  • Key tech development challenges affecting the shifting landscape of the gaming and esports ecosystem
  • Trends including cloud gaming, distribution platform development and appetite for fresh content
  • The rise of thinking around impact-driven gaming, real-world impact and gaming for innovation across multiple sectors
  • Solution-based discussion on government attitudes to gaming, ecosystem talent development and infrastructure development
  • The emerging Saudi market landscape and opportunities to be part of its story
  • Genre innovations, regulations, and legislation

Specific September 7 panel topics at the Next World Forum include the Industry Keynote speech on Gaming and Esports as the Next Frontier of Media, Gaming as an Untapped Economic Powerhouse, and VR/AR and the Metaverse in the Spotlight. 

Specific September 8 panel topics at the Next World Forum include Governments as Ecosystem Enablers, Leveling Up Esports and Gamer Health, and Build it and They Will Come – The ‘Third Place’ Experience and Rise of Gaming Venues. 

The Forum will also feature a series of activations, gaming masterclasses, and bilateral meetings. 

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