Amazon University Esports has partnered with Shahid, the first video-on-demand (VOD) service in the Arab world, powered by MBC Group. This collaboration combines two of today’s most popular entertainment areas, esports and broadcast TV. Together, the two companies will improve the experience for young users of both services.
Since its launch in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports has had a huge growth in the number of players and teams, participating universities, and organising competitions and events, becoming one of the leading players in the esports field in the region. The project is being developed in 16 countries on 4 continents and is hosted in the region by MENA Tech Entertainment (a company of GGTech Entertainment).
Part of MBC GROUP, Shahid is a global entertainment platform aimed at Arabs across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond – offers the largest Arabic library of content, including original movies and series, films fresh off the box office, documentaries, live TV channels, sports content, and a whole range of edutainment content for kids.
Recently, the popularity of gaming culture has grown significantly in the KSA, evidenced by the numerous e-sports events hosted in the country. With a population of almost 40 million in KSA, and more than half are under 25, gaming revenues have skyrocketed in KSA as players today have higher purchasing power and hours of gameplay. It is estimated that the gaming market in the MENA region will experience a 19% growth rate and exceed $5 billion by 2025.
Mario Perez, CEO of MENATech commented: “Working with Shahid, the region’s most important streaming platform, is an honour for us. Esports and streaming platforms are growing significantly in the MENA region, thanks to an increasingly young population and an increasingly virtual world. Due to this, this partnership empowers two ecosystems with great potential”.
Natasha Matos-Hemingway, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at Shahid, added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports, which will undoubtedly enhance the gaming experience for players across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Through collaborations of this kind, we are confident that we can help contribute to the ambitious National Gaming and Esports Strategy, which aims to make Saudi Arabia a global centre for gaming and esports by 2030. This collaboration is a positive step forward for both Shahid and Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports; we cannot wait to see what the future holds for esports in the GCC and MENA region.”
The National Gaming and Esports Strategy is a demonstration of the KSA government’s willingness to back this sector. Its goal is to establish the country as the world’s foremost gaming hub by 2030. This strategy will enhance players’ experiences, provide more entertainment options for the public, and help the industry contribute approximately SAR50bn to the GDP. The 10-year plan is a clear signal to the international community that the MENA region is prepared to welcome talent and create a unique gaming and esports community.