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Zain and the fast-growing gaming startup PLAYHERA announced a joint-venture agreement to launch PLAYHERA MENA powered by Zain eSports. Zain, Zain eSports, and PLAYHERA plan to invest more than SR 375 million over the upcoming five years; the newly established JV will have Riyadh as its headquarters and go after MENA’s lucrative gaming market with an estimated 100 million gamers across the region.

PLAYHERA MENA plans to rapidly diversify its offering to gamers by incorporating new technologies leveraging Zain’s infrastructure and PLAYHERA’s interactive platforms. This multi-featured gaming social hub helps all industry stakeholders to come together and engage.

The exclusive agreement for the JV that was signed by Zain KSA CEO, Sultan AlDeghaither, and PLAYHERA CEO, Naif Mulaeb, will enable the newly established entity to enrich the gaming ecosystem through providing a platform for gaming content creators and offering value-added services to gamers such as high-rewarding tournaments, cloud games, exclusive entertainment content, and an online store while providing industry access to sponsors and investors.

“We are excited to establish this new venture that will turn into a regional powerhouse in the gaming and e-Sports sector with Riyadh as its headquarters,” said Sultan AlDeghaither, adding that “in Zain, we consider the digital generation of the Kingdom and across the region, our core segment as we continuously address their needs and provide them with the latest technologies and access to services that match their requirements, especially when it comes to the tech-savvy gamers.”  

From his side, Naif Mulaeb added that PLAYHERA “are pleased to sign this agreement, which will enable us to push our offering for the Middle East and North Africa region with distinguished services to gamers such as gaming tournaments, cloud games, exclusive content, and e-commerce. We are proud to be a Saudi brand that has gone global and has a presence in some major markets,” adding that “we will continue to work to encourage individuals and interested companies to enter this field and benefit from our platform that gives them solid access to the whole esports industry.”

Zain Group’s chief investment & digital officer Malek Hammoud added that “The Middle East is one of the fastest-growing gaming regions in the world and we are keen to unlock the potential of aspiring gamers of the region to compete on the global stage. This JV reconfirms the momentum being gathered in gaming, and Zain Esports aims to foster the growth of the esports ecosystem in the region and beyond.”

With its fast growth, PLAYHERA already has 150,000 actively engaged gamers on its platform. It plans to expand its presence on the regional and international levels to be an industry platform that serves all stakeholders.

Zain Esports’ presence as a gaming powerhouse engaging with the gamers and youth across the region is creating an ecosystem that reduces reliance on traditional telco services and opens growing opportunities for fast-growing and lucrative digital services and online gaming. Gaming is one of the largest use cases for mobile and home broadband services and is destined to help Zain operating companies connect to the gaming community through its state-of-the-art infrastructure.

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