Tech

Saudi Arabia goes all in on esports and gaming as new world-class arena in the works

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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is set to become a global force in the world of gaming entertainment over the next few years. The multi-billion dollar Qiddiya entertainment district close to Riyadh was recently unveiled, and now more information on some of the facilities it will play host to is starting to come to light

Architects Journal reports that London design company Populous has unveiled its plans for a 5,000+ esports arena in Saudi Arabia that will feature one of the world’s largest total areas of video screens, alongside 4D haptic seating that will let spectators feel every shot, explosion, and goal through their own bodies.

Populous’ Senior Principal, Rhys Courtney told AJ, “‘We are proud to have been able to combine our extensive knowledge of esports facilities and technology with Qiddiya’s vision to create a world-leading arena for competitors and fans alike. This arena will be unique in esports in both scale and user experience.”

Meanwhile Senior Principal and General Manager of Populous KSA, Shireen Hamdan added, “We are proud to have been able to combine our extensive knowledge of esports facilities and technology with Qiddiya’s vision to create a world-leading arena for competitors and fans alike. This arena will be unique in esports in both scale and user experience.”

The Populous design brief includes, “The design philosophy for the arena is centered on creating a fantasy world for fans. The general admission experience is carefully crafted, with two concourses wrapping around the seating bowl, offering unique designs and functions. These include a centralized arcade with breakout zones for gaming, a food ‘souk’, retail, and an immersive entertainment zone.”

Populous is no stranger to large venue design, it is currently working alongside the Buffalo Bills in the NFL on the new stadium for the NFL franchise.

The new gaming district at Qiddiya is expected to attract some 10 million visitors annually and will feature gaming-themed hotels and apartments that will appeal to both esports pros and gaming enthusiasts of all ages.

Featured image: Populous

Paul McNally

Paul has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision. He spent over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title. Has written gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine, PlayStation Pro, Amiga Action, Mega Action, ST Action, GQ, Loaded, and the Daily Mirror. Former champion shoot ’em-up legend.

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