Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) became the biggest outside shareholder of Nintendo Co. Quite logically, this is an attempt to lower its dependency on oil.
According to a filing, the sovereign wealth fund has increased its ownership stake in the legendary gaming company to 8.3%. This rate’s up from just over 6% at the beginning of the year. The action sandwiches PIF right between Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund and Nintendo’s own holding, as stated by Bloomberg.
Under the reign of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the oil giant is striving to venture into the games and esports industry. In particular, it established the Savvy Games group. The company runs under the PIF and has a budget of $38M. In addition to a very generous budget, the company’s team is composed of seasoned professionals with great experience in the industry. Recently, Savvy announced its first entry into China’s gaming sector through a $260M investment in a Tencent Holdings Ltd-backed competitive gaming organizer.
Saudi Wealth Fund is marking its third investment in Japanese game company
According to the filing, Saudi Arabia acquired Nintendo’s stake purely for investment purposes. A spokesperson for Nintendo stated that the company isn’t interested in revealing the identities of its shareholders. However, PIF has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Nintendo is not the first Japanese game company PIF has invested in. Before Nintendo, Nexon Co and Street Fighter maker Copcom Co caught PIF’s attention, also hitting the public disclosure threshold of 5%. It continues to broaden its horizons in games and entertainment history, with Activision Blizzard Inc, Electronic Arts Inc, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, and Koei Tecmo Holdings Co under its belt.
The sovereign wealth fund’s investments are in line with the Saudi government’s objectives for 2030. These involve developing strong economic alliances and getting hold of innovative technology. Moreover, among PIF’s technological targets are entertainment content, big data analysis, and renewable energy.
The PIF is spearheading the construction of the first gaming hub in the region. Neom is a trailblazing, futuristic city located in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia. Marketing documents claim that Neom will feature a campus designed to attract businesses, developers, and artists to collaborate on games.
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