Saudi Arabia has announced plans to spend SAR 142 billion (approx £35 billion GBP, equating to nearly half of global gaming M&A activity during 2021) to increase the Savvy Games Group’s activity in the worldwide games industry.
SAR 50 billion ($13.3 billion) has been put aside “for the acquisition and development of a leading game publisher to become a strategic development partner”, while a further SAR 70 billion has been put aside so that Savvy can “make a series of minority stake investments in key companies that support Savvy’s game development agenda”. Savvy also intends to open 250 gaming companies within Saudi Arabia with additional funds.
Chaired by Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Savvy Games Group is owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund and has already invested in large gaming companies like the Embracer Group, Capcom, Nexon and Nintendo, as well as taking majority ownership of King of Fighters and Metal Slug developer SNK. The group is controversial for its direct ties to a regime that is regularly cited as being among the world’s worst human rights abusers.
“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 Prince Mohammed. “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.”