Saudi Arabia's has snapped up a $1 billion stake in Sweden's Embracer Group.
The deal was conducted via the Savvy Gaming Group subsidiary in the country's Public Investment Fund (PIF) and makes it the second largest shareholder in Embracer. Saudi Arabia owns 8.1 per cent of the company's shares.
The PIF is a sovereign wealth fund headed up by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman with the objective Saudi Arabia less dependent on oil money. Previously, PIF partnered up with SoftBank for its Vision Fund which invested in companies such as, er, WeWork and Uber.
It's also the latest investment that the PIF has made in the video games industry. At the time of writing, the outfit owns five per cent each of Nintendo, Capcom and Nexon, as well as a whopping 96 per cent of SNK.
If the name Mohammed bin Salman rings a bell, it's likely because he allegedly ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“Savvy Gaming Group’s investment of $1 billion enables us to continue executing our strategy proactively from a position of strength across the global gaming industry," Embracer boss Lars Wingefors (pictured) said.
“Over the past few years, Saudi-based entities have become one of the most significant investors in the global gaming market, and the games market in MENA is one of the world’s fastest growing, with $5.7 billion in 2021 revenues and more active gamers than either the US or Western Europe.
“The largest country in this market, by far, is Saudi Arabia, and having visited Saudi Arabia, I have seen the gaming community and the opportunities first-hand.
“Our relationship with Savvy Gaming Group will enable us to set up a regional hub in Saudi Arabia, from which we will be able to make investments across the MENA region, either organically, via partnerships, joint ventures, or via acquisitions of companies led by strong entrepreneurs.”
Embracer recently acquired Square Enix's Western studios and IP for $300 million.