Interest in the gaming industry is growing and growing, leading to well-funded corporations getting their eyes on it. Now Saudi Arabia has apparently gotten a taste for it.
We already know from the example of Tencent from China and the Swedish Embracer Group that large corporations and corporate groups are absorbing more and more of the games industry. Apparently you see immense potential there and the proliferation of video game adaptations among streaming providers certainly confirms this.
Now Saudi Arabia has apparently gotten a taste for making money not just from oil. The Saudi Arabian Savvy Games Group, which is owned by the state fund PIF, has announced that it will invest 142 billion riyals (almost 39 billion US dollars) in the video game industry.
A significant part of this – about 50 billion riyals – is to be put into the takeover of a leading game publisher in order to put the whole thing on a strategically stable footing. Another 70 billion should flow into minority interests in other companies, the rest should be used to find partners to expand the portfolio. In addition, Saudi Arabia is to be developed into a global center for esports by 2030.
This is not just the beginning, the Savvy Gaming Group was already active in advance and has already secured minority stakes in the Embracer Group and Nintendo, among other things, and also took over the esports organizer ESL in January. However, the initiative is likely to lead to some discussions due to the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia and it will be interesting to see how this all develops.