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Celebrity speakers at Saudi Arabia Next World Forum 2023

Next World Forum 2023 to explore the future of gaming, esports, and the metaverse

Saudi Arabia Next World Forum 2023: Day One

Saudi Arabia hosted the Next World Forum bringing thought leaders and industry professionals together to discuss everything gaming. Some of the topics covered during the event include the impact of gaming and esports on society, the latest trends, opportunities for growth, and the role of the government in supporting esports and the gaming industry.

Next World Forum also features keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Speakers include CEOs of leading gaming and esports companies, celebrities involved in gaming and sports, government officials, and influential leaders on social media.

What is the Next World Forum?

Organised by the Saudi Esports Federation (SEF), the Next World Forum (NWF), is a 2-day event envisioned to be a global gaming platform hosted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Already the first day of the event is completed so let’s have a recap of everything that happened on day one.

The first panel to join the stage spoke about the legalities of companies acquiring game studios before the conversation shifted to celebrity gamers. The host Lucy Hegdes who invited the guest speakers on stage said these celebrities were helping to “shape” the gaming and esports culture and therefore this talk was all about “when celebrities enter the gaming industry.”

Joining the panel discussion was professional footballer Gareth Bale, film producer and director Michael Bale, and the most influential man on social media and entrepreneur, Gary Vee.

Gareth Bale has invested in the industry, especially in esports being a main source of investment. Lucy also mentioned the power of marketing in Hollywood and sports and how Gareth transitioned from a real-life pitch to a digital one. Gareth responded and said he grew up playing football but also played football and car racing games as a child. He said, “If I’m not playing football now, then I am playing it in the virtual world.”

The professional footballer also said that he is able to invest and “give people an opportunity to play football in the virtual world.” The gamers that “we bought in were all people who wanted to be a footballer – virtual reality is the next best thing and by giving those kids or men opportunities, was something of a nice feeling.”

Michael Bay also spoke on his interpretation of the gaming and movie industry. “Games and movies are a shared experience and they both invite audiences to enter a world imaginary or spectacular giving you some sort of experience,” he said. Michael joked and said “My blood pressure gets going when I’m playing a game whereas in a movie, it’s a passive experience. What I like about games, is that you’re living in a movie.

Finally, Gary gave his introduction and thoughts on the gaming and esports industry with the work he does. Gary said he was 47 years old and that the 80s had impacted him greatly mentioning games and shows he used to watch as a child. He told the audience that he was influenced by pop culture. This week was a big week for Gary Vee. As a part owner in Version 1 in the US, Gary was proud to announce the “win” of having Rocket League here. When talking about gaming and the esports industry, he concluded to say “This is a space I have paid a lot of attention to and been involved in.”

Gareth Bale gave his final words and said “It’s a space that’s really grown.”

Watch the highlights here:

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