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Saudi Arabia eyes up acquisition of major publisher

The acquisition is part of a $38.7 billion games strategy
Saudi Arabia eyes up acquisition of major publisher
Date Type Companies Involved Size
Sep 30, 2022 acquisition Savvy Games Group Not disclosed

Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group, which is owned by the sovereign wealth fund PIF, claims that it will invest $38.7 billion into the games industry, including a $13 billion acquisition of a leading – but unnamed – games publisher.

The investment will also include $18.6 billion to be focussed into financing a variety of “key companies” to acquire minority stakes, supporting the company’s game development agenda. $481 million is earmarked for investments in esports companies and “industry disruptors to grow early-stage games,” whilst a further $4.8 billion will be invested in “mature industry partners.”

“Savvy Games Group is one part of our ambitious strategy aiming to make Saudi Arabia the ultimate global hub for the games and esports sector by 2030,” said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“We are harnessing the untapped potential across the esports and games sector to diversify our economy, drive innovation in the sector and further scale the entertainment and esports competition offerings across the Kingdom”.

Growth in the MENA region

Videogameschronicle notes that, should the figure be accurate, it is likely that the $13 billion cost would fall short of the asking price for the largest third-party publishers, such as EA and Take Two.

These investments are a part of Saudi Arabia’s strategy to become the global hub of the gaming sector. This strategy has seen the country purchasing a 5.01 percent stake in Nintendo and 5 percent in Capcom and Nexon. Additionally, the country has invested in companies such as Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take Two, and Embracer.

The strategy will be delivered by different branches of Savvy, each focusing on a different area. Among these branches is Nine66, which offers talent and participation opportunities, financing, consulting opportunities, and a positive infrastructure.

Saudi Arabia recently launched its gaming and esports strategy, which it hopes will bring 39 thousand new jobs to the country. We will be publishing more in-depth information about the move on very soon.

Meet with Savvy Games Group and other leaders at the PGC Leaders Summit Riyadh this November 30 - December 1 and help shape the future of the MENA games industry. For more information on our upcoming MENA events and media activities, see here.