Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF) has in latest instances focused the videogames trade, and now owns a slice of many massive gamers. The Saudi PIF has stakes (a few of that are held by means of subsidiaries) in Activision Blizzard, Capcom, Embracer Group, Nexon, Nintendo, Take-Two Interactive and extra. Now it is doubled an present stake in Digital Arts (opens in new tab), and owns slightly below 10% of the worldwide large.
The PIF beforehand held 16.01 million shares in EA, however now holds 24.81 million–The overall variety of shares in EA stands at over 274 million, in order that’s round 9% of the full. The ‘why’ is not any actual thriller, as enterprise is booming for EA. Its most up-to-date outcomes confirmed revenues of $7.4 billion for the final monetary yr, up 6% year-on-year, with the writer predicting between $7.3 and $7.7 billion for the fiscal yr ending March 31, 2024. Within the earnings name EA largely credited these outcomes to its stay companies efficiency in video games equivalent to Apex Legends and FIFA 23.
Saudi Arabia, for its half, has been pouring billions into video games as a result of it desires to make itself much less utterly depending on oil. However Saudi funding is at all times controversial, as a result of the nation has an appalling human rights report, criminalises homosexuality (with punishments starting from flogging to execution), and its crown prince Mohammed bin Salman allegedly ordered the 2018 assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (opens in new tab). The Saudi authorities engaged in intensive efforts to cowl up Khashoggi’s killing. The crown prince chairs the Saudi PIF.
Sadly, nonetheless, cash talks. The Saudis have an terrible lot of it, and now have their fingers in a complete bunch of videogame pies.