In the kingdom’s latest venture into the lucrative gaming industry, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has purchased a five per cent stake in the iconic Japanese games developer Capcom and just over five per cent of South Korean online games publisher Nexon for a total investment worth $1 billion according to Bloomberg.
The purchase of Capcom is valued at an approximate $332 million at current share prices, while the acquisition of Nexon is reportedly worth $883 million. The purchases are described as “pure investment” moves and not a potential takeover, the report says.
Capcom which started out as an arcade games manufacturer in the early ‘80s is perhaps best known for the Street Fighter and Resident Evil video game series, while Nexom has been behind one of the largest free-to-play online PC games, Dungeon & Fighter and the massive online multiplayer RPG MapleStory.
In December 2020, the fund acquired over $3 billion worth of stock in Activision Blizzard (currently pending a Microsoft takeover bid), Electronic Arts and Take-Two.
The move also comes less than a month after Savvy Gaming Group, which is backed by the kingdom’s fund acquired two of the largest brands in the e-sports industry worth a combined $1.5 billion.
The Public Investment Fund, which is said to be worth $500 billion is an important part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision2030 which aims to shift the kingdom’s economy away from oil dependence. However, the fund’s activities have previously been accused of trying to cover the country’s human rights abuses, and “sportswashing” over its recent purchase of British football team Newcastle United and the current bid for Italian Serie A club Inter Milan.