New training programs for students, developers, content creators & Esports players in the Kingdom

الأربعاء - 14 يونيو 2023

Wed - 14 Jun 2023

Google announced new capacity building programs for game developers, students, content creators and Esports players in Saudi Arabia. The trainings will be held in partnership with local entities such as the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology's Center for Digital Entrepreneurship (CODE) through the Game Founders program and IGNITE! Initiative as well as the Saudi Esports Federation.

According to Saudi Arabia’s National Gaming and Esports strategy, the Kingdom aims to create over 39,000 jobs in game development, publishing, infrastructure and other professions by 2030, an objective Google is committed to supporting through upskilling programs with local partners.

Google’s training programs will support gaming talent in Saudi Arabia across development, publishing, distribution and monetization, focusing on five main areas:

Google Days for university students: Google Days for university students: Google gaming experts and partners from the industry will run training programs for over 250 university students across Ahsa, Abha, Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam from September 2023 with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s Centre of Digital Entrepreneurship (CODE) Through Game Founders Program. The program will cover entrepreneurship strategies, gaming career opportunities, monetization through Google Ads solutions such as PerformanceMax and AdMob, distribution best practices on Play, Cloud and YouTube and programs that support the gaming industry.
Training and mentorship for Saudi game developers: Google will offer workshops on Play’s pre-registration process that allows developers to understand demand as a result of pre-launch marketing efforts for a more impactful launch and on setting up benchmarks based on game genres, audience among other areas, Ads best practices in topics including brand performance and creative campaigns to 100 Saudi game developers in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s IGNITE! Initiative and the Game Founders program. Participants will also receive one to one mentorship with experts on entrepreneurship, fundraising, game development and design, monetization and marketing through Google for Startup’s Global Mentors community, which connects startups to Google’s global network of experts.
Content creators and Esports players: YouTube will offer a workshop at the Saudi Esports Federation’s Gamers8 conference, for 50 Saudi-based creators & Esports players focusing on gaming content and channel optimization, audience development and engagement with the gaming community on YouTube.
Women in Gaming: YouTube will host a special “Ana Batala” session, which is part of the YouTube Batala program to empower female creators, for women in Esports and content creators at Gamers8. Google is also collaborating with stc Play, stc’s gaming arm and a platform for gamers, on a campaign to promote inclusivity and show the diversity of Saudi Arabia’s gaming industry that will be released later in the year.
Google MENA Gaming Summit: Google will host the first Google MENA Gaming Summit in Riyadh by the end of this year to bring together leading Google experts, gaming veterans, investors and top regional talent. It will focus on industry trends, updates and best practices across Google Play, Ads, YouTube and Cloud, and help build the ecosystem.

Commenting on the announcement, Anthony Nakache, Google’s Managing Director for the Middle East & North Africa said “There's great momentum in building the local gaming ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, and we're pleased to play our part in making this happen. Our programs will focus on building the skills of gaming talent across the board- from students, developers, Esports players to content creators, focusing on app development, publishing and distribution on YouTube and Play and monetization. We're pleased to be partnering with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and the Saudi Esports Federation and look forward to doing more together.”

Mr. Abdullah Alshamrani, General Manager of CODE Centers said "The gaming industry in Saudi Arabia has tremendous potential for growth, and we are committed to supporting its development. We at CODE believe that the gaming industry can help to create new jobs, promote innovation and creativity, and contribute to the country's economic diversification efforts."

In Saudi Arabia, Google is supporting Sandsoft, Savvy Games Studios and Nine66 by offering gaming-related insights across Google’s products and services such as trending queries related to gaming, popular games on Google’s platforms, to support their game publishing efforts and marketing campaigns.

Commenting on the announcement, David Fernandez, CEO at Sandsoft said "We're delighted that Google is joining our efforts to build a highly-skilled, inclusive gaming ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. For the diverse gaming talent here, Google's investment in them will provide an immeasurable boost not only in terms of their technical skillsets, but also to their self-belief and confidence."

Likewise, Yannick Theler, CEO at Savvy Games Studios, said “ Savvy Games Studios is delighted to be working with Google to train the next generation of games entrepreneurs and stars. Important initiatives such as this underline our commitment to making Saudi Arabia a global hub for games development, helping leading businesses such as Savvy Games Studios hire, train, and retain the brightest talent. Finally, to deliver the aims of the national strategy and creating opportunities for young talent.”