Saudi Arabia Acquires $4 Billion Stake In EA, Take-Two, Activision Blizzard

Saudi Arabia Acquires $4 Billion Stake In EA, Take-Two, Activision Blizzard
Image: EA

Saudi Arabia has utilised its Public Investment Fund to invest over $US3.3 ($4) billion in Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, and Activision Blizzard, Al Jazeera reported (h/t Eurogamer).

This move, undertaken by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (known colloquially as MBS), equates to millions of shares in each company, a decent foothold in the video game but relatively small fractions of ownership.

The crown prince’s MiSK Foundation, a non-profit foundation meant to “foster, empower, and create a healthy environment for young creative talents” in Saudi Arabia, also obtained a one-third stake in Japanese gaming company SNK late last year, with the end goal of eventually taking majority control of the iconic studio.

While not explicitly part of MBS’s overall Saudi Vision 2030 plan — which, on paper, is about attracting investors and tourism but essentially boils down to a propaganda campaign hoping to portray Saudi Arabia as a progressive nation rather than the oppressive, medieval monarchy it truly is — his recent overtures to the video game industry follow the same pattern as investments his regime has made in sports, esports, and professional wrestling.

MBS was hailed as a reformer early into his tenure as crown prince for, among other things, giving women the right to drive. But his alleged roles in ordering the 2018 assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabi’s continued genocide of the Yemeni people (with assistance from the United States and the United Arab Emirates) have made him controversial on the global stage.

Last winter, Riot was forced to pull out of a partnership with Saudi Arabia, which would have seen a League of Legends event promote the kingdom’s incredibly dumb NEOM project, after backlash from the esports community.

Comments

  • Tencent: “Let’s tank the reputations of gaming companies world wide by investing in them!”

    Saudi Arabia: “Hold my beer.”

    Something ironic about what is quite possibly the group behind 9/11 funding Team America shooters via investing in Actizzard.

    • Just a reminder, Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of a journalist who was critical of the Saudi royal family in another country.

      And the west was too cowardly to stand up to worlds largest sponsor of Islamic terrorism.

      • Also, a few years back, the US Senet gave permission to the family of 9/11 victims to sue the Sudi’s for 9/11. This being one of the USA’s most powerful allies in the middle east…

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