Science & Technology

Gamers8 Festival in Riyadh Receives Positive Reception

Gamers8, one of the world’s largest gaming festivals, is receiving a positive reception from residents of Saudi Arabia.

A recent survey by YouGov found that two-thirds (67%) of KSA residents agree with the statement, “Gamers8 will strengthen the kingdom’s standing as future global hub for the gaming industry.” The majority also believes that the festival will encourage tourism within the region (64%) and help nurture gaming athletes and develop Saudi Arabia’s gaming community (63%).

Gamers8 festival scores high on interest, with three in five KSA residents saying they plan to engage in some way (e.g. attend, participate or watch online). Among the various aspects of the event, esports competitions and tournaments are the most appealing to people (55%), followed by the cultural and entertainment elements such as live concerts (50%). Many are drawn to the family attractions (44%) and community gaming events (42%), and some find the educational workshops and masterclasses interesting (27%).

The survey also found that gaming is a popular activity among KSA residents. One in eight (13%) claim they spend most of their time playing video games on a console, PC, mobile phone or any other handheld device. This surpasses activities such as watching live streamed video content online (10%), listening to radio (6%), podcasts (4%), reading a newspaper or book (5%), or streaming music (3%).

When asked about the time they typically spend on gaming each week, the largest proportion said they spend around 3-6 hours (22%), followed by a fifth (20%) who said they spend 2 hours. A similar number (21%) spend over 7 hours a week playing video games, including 7% who spend more than 20 hours gaming in a typical week.

When it comes to the device used for gaming, smartphones are the top device used amongst weekly gamers in Saudi Arabia (at 73%). Although mobile devices have opened the gates to casual gaming in a big way, the likes of Xbox and PlayStation continue to appeal to gaming enthusiasts with a third (34%) of weekly gamers using dedicated gaming consoles to play video games. Men are more likely than women to say this (38% men vs 29% women).

Desktops/ laptops (33%) and tablets (25%) are also widely used among gamers. One in seven residents (14%) use high-end gaming PCs, with those between 35 and 44 years showing the highest rate of adoption of these devices (at 20%).

Despite the gaming potential of VR and the steady rise of the metaverse, the adoption of VR headsets remains low, with only 9% of weekly gamers using VR headsets during their gaming sessions.

The Gamers8 festival is being held at Boulevard Riyadh City from July 6 to August 31, 2023. The event features a variety of activities, including esports competitions, live concerts, family attractions, and educational workshops.

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