Saudi Arabia has made a significant investment in Nintendo. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund controlled by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, purchased 5.01 percent of the Japanese gaming giant for $3 billion USD (roughly $3.8 billion CAD).
The investment in Nintendo is the latest from Saudi Arabia’s PIF. Recently, the firm has been making further investments in the video game industry. This year, PIF acquired five percent of Capcom and Nexon. The firm has also made another $3 billion USD (roughly $3.8 billion CAD) investment across EA, Activision Blizzard, and Take-Two.
Electronic Gaming Development Company (EGDC), a subsidiary of the Bin Salman Foundation, also owns 96.18 percent of SNK Corporation. This is the studio responsible for the Metal Slug and Fatal Fury titles.
While it would appear as though Saudi Arabia has its eyes set on small investments across the gaming space, it’s also investing in tech companies as well. PIF has purchased a five percent stake in Uber for $3.5 billion (roughly $4.5 billion CAD). Additionally, PIF has made investments in Facebook, Disney, Boeing and more.
There’s no clear reason behind Saudi Arabia’s recent sprint to make investments in a variety of larger corporations. One theory, as pointed out by Polygon, could be driven by the desire to secure Saudi Arabia’s economy as global reliance of oil continues to drop. 70 percent of the country’s exports rely on oil and gas and it makes up half its gross domestic product.
Bin Salman is a very controversial figure. The crown prince is also responsible for the murder of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Under Bin Salman’s leadership, Saudi Arabia is also known for its weakened regard for the LGBTQ community and women’s rights are also abysmal within the country. Bin Salman’s rule also sees the death penalty, corporal punishment and more cruel acts used frequently within the law system of the country.
Image credit: Nintendo