NEOM a New Capital of Gaming and eSports
Gaming and eSports have become such an important part of the youth lifestyle that it was only a matter of time before new opportunities for capitalization started to emerge. Streaming, digital currencies, and now arenas for eSports are starting to emerge. The game industry is extremely profitable, and gaining consumers’ country can easily unlock new levels of prosperity. Well, NEOM might be the next big step in the right direction. The plan is simple, create a city that is appealing to gamers, wait for them to move in, get rights to host main eSports events, and reap the benefits.
NEOM was announced by Mohammad bin Salman who is the Saudi Crown Prince in Riyadh during the Future Investment Initiative event, back in October 2017. It is an initiative that sprung from Saudi Vision 2030, which basically serves as a plan to reduce oil dependence and to diversify the economy. Klaus Kleinfeld, former chairman of Alcoa Inc., was tasked with spearheading the development efforts, however, initial plans seemed overly ambitions to achieve at this point in time.
NEOM was envisioned to have robots who will perform security, home delivery, logistics, and even caregiving functions. Furthermore, the power was supposed to be generated only by relying on wind and solar energy sources. The first phase of the construction was planned for the year 2025, but many were very skeptical due to the overly ambitious goals.
The groundwork for eSports Capital
Officials of Saudi Arabia have big ambitions when it comes to NEOM. They aim to create a futuristic city that will become a prominent gaming hub on an international scale. Just recently NEOM managers signed MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with SAFEIS (Saudi Arabian Federation of Electronic and Intellectual Sports), which is a first step towards achieving their goal. This is a splendid move, considering how 21% of young people in Saudi Arabia engages in online gaming sports events on a weekly basis. Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Bin Sultan, who is a chairman of SAFEIS stated how NEOM carries a massive potential to become world capital for eSports events, and how SAFEIS will strive to help NEOM achieve this goal.
NEOM is a megacity that is going to operate independently and outside the existing kingdom’s governmental framework. The idea is to create a town that will be a preferred choice for tourists and a preferred living destination. The main focus will be on several industries: energy and water, biotech, digital sciences, mobility, entertainment, media, and manufacturing.
Hopefully, we will get some version of NEOM, even if it’s not the one filled with robots. A city built from a ground-up, and filled with cutting edge technology might end up being the first town to be governed by AI, who knows. At any rate, we hope that eSports will continue to grow and that new tournaments will start to pop up, so it would be ideal to have a place that was initially designed to host such events.