Saudi Arabia’s ambition doesn’t stop when it comes to video games. His goal is to be a leader in the field by 2030.
Saudi Arabia is very interested in video games. In the past few years, the Asian country’s millionaires have put their money into different markets, but they see the best chance of success in games. And the reason is easy to understand: it is the most profitable entertainment industry. Because of this, Saudi Arabia already has a very large fund ready to buy more things.
Before we go on, we should remember that Saudi Arabia bought 96% of SNK through Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. SNK is the company behind King of Fighters and Metal Slug, just to name a couple of its many franchises. In May of this year, they paid $3 billion for a 5.01 percent stake in Nintendo, one of the three biggest video game companies. Also, they own 5% of both Capcom and Nexon. But Saudi Arabia wants more than that.
Saudi Arabia’s options
This week, they said that their Public Investment Fund had given 37.8 billion dollars to keep investing in video games (via VGC ). The number is huge, but what comes next is even more surprising. The nation plans to purchase a big publisher with 13,300 million dollars. The balance of the money will be utilized to acquire major company or studio shares, like Nintendo.
In its statement, Saudi Arabia says that the company that manages their investments and assets in video games, which they call Savvy Games Group, wants to be a leader in the industry by 2030.
“The Savvy Games Group is part of our big-picture plan. It wants Saudi Arabia to be the most important place in the world for the gaming and esports industries by 2030. We are using the untapped potential of the esports and gaming industries to diversify our economy, drive innovation in the sector, and expand competitive entertainment options across the UK.”
Of course, Saudi Arabia’s announcement did nothing more than start a long discussion about which video game publisher they could buy with $13.3 billion. You could get in touch with a number of well-known companies, such as Ubisoft, CD Projekt RED, Capcom, Square Enix, and Konami. But for Japanese companies, it would be harder because of how the government of the Asian island protects its citizens.
Ubisoft might be the best choice because it has the most potential. Why? The French publisher hasn’t tried to hide the fact that he wants to be bought. “We have always made decisions for the good of our employees, players, and shareholders, who are the people who bet on us. Ubisoft can stay on its own because we have the right people, enough money, and a great collection of original ideas. Still, if there was an offer to buy us, the board of directors would have to look at it to make sure it was good for everyone,” said Yves Guillemot, CEO of the company. But there would be many people who want to add Ubisoft’s assets.
With Saudi Arabia’s invasion and Microsoft and Sony’s well-known buying strategies, the video game industry is about to have some very busy years.