Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently acquired 96% of Japanese video game developer company, SNK.
SNK is widely known as the developer of games such as Metal Slug, The King of Fighters, and Fatal Fury, and now, through Prince’s Electronic Gaming Development Company owns a large majority of the company since the Electronic Gaming Development Company is a subsidiary of the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation.
Just last year, a US intelligence report found that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved a plan to capture or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi back in 2018.
When the investment was being proposed for the first time in 2021, it was said in a press release that the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation’s (MiSK Foundation) investment in the Japanese company SNK reinforces its continuous commitment to its goals of empowering Saudi men and women through building economic partnerships within the Foundation’s updated strategy in order to maximize the positive impact on youth empowerment.
This deal was formalized last February but only recently became public knowledge which implies that maybe SNK didn’t want to widely publicize this deal. A confirmation of the investment came to light as a part of SNK’s Korean-only filings for February 15, 2022.
This isn’t the only investment in gaming by companies with association with the Crown Prince. In fact, Bloomberg reported earlier this year that the nation’s Public Investment Fund invest in stakes of more than 5% in Capcom as well as Nexon. These investments reached more than $1 billion.
Over $3 billion worth of stocks in Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two were acquired by the fund in December 2020.
If Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard manages to go through successfully, the Fund is expected to turn a profit on its investment since all shares were bought out at the price of $95 apiece compared to December 2020 when they were valued between $79 and $91.
The Public Investment Fund is reportedly a key element of prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to make the Saudi economy less reliant on oil proceeds.