The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made one other main funding within the videogame trade, investing greater than $1 billion to accumulate an 8.1% stake in Swedish gaming behemoth Embracer Group. The shares will probably be issued to Savvy Gaming Group, in response to MarketWatch, a video games and esports-focused subsidiary of the nation’s Public Investment Fund.

“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 Group CEO Lars Wingefors stated in a press launch. “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 [Middle East—North Africa] 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 nation on this market, by far, is Saudi Arabia, and having visited Saudi Arabia, I’ve seen the gaming neighborhood and the alternatives firsthand. Our relationship with Savvy Gaming Group will allow us to arrange a regional hub in Saudi Arabia, from which we can make investments throughout the MENA area, both organically, through partnerships, joint ventures, or through acquisitions of firms led by robust entrepreneurs.”

Saudi Arabia has made a number of major moves into the game space in 2022, through both the Public Investment Fund and the Electronic Gaming Development Company, which between them have made significant investments in Capcom, Nexon, Nintendo, ESL Gaming, and SNK prior to the Embracer deal. 

Embracer is the biggest of them all, though: It’s not a household name like Electronic Arts or Activision, but it has quietly grown into an industry behemoth; in May it acquired Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal, adding them to a roster that also includes Koch Media and Deep Silver, Saber Interactive, Gearbox, 3D Realms, Perfect World, and others.

“This funding in Embracer Group is a place to begin for a long-term dedication to the corporate,” Savvy Gaming Group CEO Brian Ward said. “The Embracer group has constructed a very distinctive and main ecosystem of entrepreneurs and creators at a scale which we imagine will proceed to generate huge worth for the video games neighborhood within the coming years.”

Both the Public Investment Fund and the Electronic Gaming Development Company are managed by Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. In 2021, US intelligence businesses decided that bin Salman had accepted the 2018 homicide of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was tortured, killed after which dismembered whereas contained in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Despite the discovering, no motion was taken towards bin Salman by the US or different governments.