Saudi Arabia: the world’s leading country in wasting money on video games

Saudi Arabia stands out as the country that wastes the most money in the field of video games, which has been an obsession for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for years, amidst his gamble with the present and future of the Kingdom.

Observers affirm that managing the economic file of any country cannot be separated from the country’s development and progress. It is closer to recklessness and a form of political gambling and economic adventurism.

This is part of what Mohammed bin Salman has been practising, turning the Kingdom into one of the most financially reckless governments in the world in the field of video games, which are usually invested in by private companies, not governments.

One of the main reasons for Mohammed bin Salman’s interest in video game deals is his passion and addiction to them, which has been confirmed by France24 and Bloomberg, stating that Saudi Arabia’s interest in the electronic gaming sector comes from the highest levels of power in the Kingdom. It is known that bin Salman has a great passion for the game “Call of Duty”!

This growing passion for video games has led Mohammed bin Salman to establish Savvy, an electronic gaming group under the Public Investment Fund, which he personally chairs. He has allocated a massive budget of $80 billion to it to transform the Kingdom into a global hub for electronic games by 2030.

Mohammed bin Salman’s strategy in electronic games aims to establish 250 gaming companies in the Kingdom and invest in global gaming companies.

Some of the notable investments made by the sovereign wealth fund include:

  • Acquisition of a $265 million stake in the Chinese video game company VSPO, founded only six years ago.
  • Significant investments in the Japanese company Nintendo, starting with injecting $3 billion to acquire a 5.01% stake, then increasing it to 7.08% and 8.26% in February last year.
  • Purchasing stakes in Japanese and Korean video game companies such as Nexon, Capcom, and Koei Tecmo.
  • Acquisition of the game company Scopely for $4.9 billion.
  • Purchase of an 8.1% stake in the Swedish gaming company Embracer for $1.05 billion.
  • Acquisition of 37.9 million shares in Activision Blizzard, a video game company.
  • Acquisition of 96% of the shares of the video game company SNK.

These massive investments in video games have led France24 to say that Saudi Arabia’s investments may be the highest in the world!

The Washington Post described the actions of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund in acquiring video game companies as “throwing money without knowing if it will generate any returns.”

Indeed, some of the Saudi investments in video games have incurred significant losses, including:

  • A $1.05 billion investment in ESL Gaming resulted in a 15.42% loss.
  • A $1 billion investment in Live Nation resulted in a 21.61% loss.
  • A $777 million investment in Take-Two, resulting in a 31.4% loss.

Mohammed bin Salman has allocated enormous prizes for video game competitions in the Kingdom. Last year, $3 million was allocated as prizes in a PUBG tournament and $2 million for the Gamers Without Borders tournament for video games in Riyadh!

The number increased to $45 million in the Gamers8 video game festival in July 2023.

It appears that the NEOM project will become one of the pillars of developing the video game industry in the Kingdom, following the establishment of the first video game development studio in collaboration with the MBC Group, as part of the ongoing waste of money.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button