Saudi authorities are paying more and more attention to video games. In the fourth quarter, the state-owned Public Investment Fund invested over $3.3 billion in the gaming industry. However, only three companies got the money.
According to Bloomberg, a little less than half of the total amount was received by Activision Blizzard — $ 1.4 billion.
Electronic Arts is in second place with $1.1 billion. Take-Two closes the list, which raised $826 million.
It should be noted that the PIF is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud. Among other things, he became famous for his passion for games. For example, in 2018, the prince told the New Yorker that he likes to spend time on Call of Duty.
With the filing of Muhammad, the country’s economy began to diversify more, trying to get away from oil dependence. Before that, the central bank of Saudi Arabia invested money mainly in stable liquid assets like US Treasury bonds. However, now investments are directed mainly to technical and gaming companies. Various funds, including PIF, help in the implementation of this strategy.
Among the most high—profile PIF deals are investments in Uber Technologies ($4.4 billion), Citigroup and Facebook.
Recall that last November, another MiSK Foundation controlled by the prince acquired a third of the shares of the Japanese studio SNK — developer Metal Slug, King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown. In the future, the fund is going to increase its share to 51%.