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Saudi Arabia is Investing Billions in Gaming

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As part of its Vision 2030 plan, the Saudi Arabian government is investing more billions of dollars in the gaming industry.

The Saudi Arabian government-backed Savvy Gaming Group is pouring billions into gaming as part of the kingdom’s increasing interest as a stakeholder in the industry. The investment comes as part of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 goal to position itself as a central figure in the global gaming sector. Through organizations like Savvy, the government not only hopes to acquire stakes in prominent gaming companies like Activision and EA but kick off its own suite of gaming companies as well.


One of the main objectives of Savvy is to grow the esports presence in the Middle East and build gaming studios that produce games for a global audience. Back in January, the company announced that Savvy Gaming Group is buying ESL and Faceit for $1.5 billion. Then in June, the company announced a $1 billion investment into Embracer Group. In the latest announcement, the company is putting up $37.8 billion more into the gaming sector.

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According to the announcement, $13 billion is allocated toward acquiring and developing “a leading game publisher to become a strategic development partner.” Another $18 billion will go to minority stake investments, along with $5 billion in mature industry partners, and the remainder towards early-stage games and esports companies. The announcement goes on to state that Savvy’s overall efforts expect to put up 250 game companies and create 39,000 jobs by 2030.

Evidently, Savvy Gaming Group isn’t the only Saudi Arabian entity making moves in the gaming sector. Back in April, SNK Corporation came under the ownership of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman via a notable investment from the Electronic Gaming Development Company. A month later, the kingdom became the fifth-largest shareholder of Nintendo following a 5.01 percent stake acquisition in the company. Now, the recent $37.8 billion investment suggests that the Saudi Arabian government may be looking to ramp up its stake and influence in the industry even further.

But critics view Saudi Arabia’s gaming ambitions as part of the kingdom’s effort to cover up human rights violations such as its involvement in the Yemeni civil war. Further, the Crown Prince, who chairs Savvy’s Board of Directors, has been implicated in the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Time will tell how Saudi Arabia will continue to navigate the gaming sector while facing high scrutiny from the international community over its actions. Regardless, it doesn’t appear that neither Savvy Gaming Group nor the kingdom will slow down its push into the industry.

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Source: Saudi Press Agency



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