After the success of Gamescom 2023 and the anticipation building for Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2023, Saudi Arabia’s Next World forum is here to offer another thrilling event for gamers. Taking place in Riyadh on August 30th and 31st, this two-day forum showcases talks, demos, and networking opportunities for gaming industry professionals.
The second day of the Next World Forum featured an impressive lineup of speakers who covered a variety of important topics. While day one saw celebrities like Gareth Bale and Michael Bay take the stage, day two focused on business leaders discussing the future of the gaming industry. Key subjects included the metaverse, AI, blockchain, and the significance of localization in games. The Saudi Esports Federation, an influential organization in esports, had their CEO, Turki Al Fazwan, share insights on the progress of the group. ESL Faceit Group also presented, discussing their acquisition journey under the Savvy Games group. Another notable talk focused on the value of localization.
Day two of the Next World Forum had a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the first day, allowing industry figures to connect and engage in meaningful discussions. With a strong emphasis on captivating and sometimes controversial subjects such as AI, day two provided the most thought-provoking talks for industry enthusiasts.
“[Esports facilities] are much more than a percent chance to win, it professionalises the industry” – Mike Milanov, Advisory board member, Qiddiya.
The first talk on day two centered around esports facilities and their future. Titled “The players deserve better: The future of gaming and esports facilities,” this discussion shed light on the increasing importance of dedicated spaces for esports athletes. In the past, most esports athletes trained in shared living spaces known as “gamer houses.” However, with the rise of esports in regions like SEA, India, and MENA across various platforms, the need for professional training facilities has become evident. The panel included industry experts such as Turki Al Fazwan, Arnab Bhattacharya, Joachim Haraldsen, and renowned Saudi Arabian esports star Mosaad Aldossary. They discussed how initiatives like Qiddiya aim to create internationally attractive esports facilities with year-round event calendars.
As the Next World Forum comes to a close, the gaming community eagerly awaits the return of Pocket Gamer Connects to the region. PGC Helsinki 2023 will provide further insights into this exciting market and more. For now, mark your calendars for September 12th and 13th for the event in Helsinki!