Saudi Arabia Buys 5% Stake In Nintendo

It appears Saudi Arabia is gaining interest in the video game sphere. According to Bloomberg, the country, through its Public Investment Fund, purchased a 5.01% stake in Nintendo. This is according to recent filings by Japan's Finance Ministry. The PIF is a sovereign wealth fund chaired by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman used for investment purposes. It's just the latest in a series of gaming investments made with the fund.
That's a Lot of Coin
Based on reports, the purpose of the PIF is to make the Saudi economy less reliant on proceeds that come in from oil. According to its website, the vision of the fund is to be "a global investment powerhouse and the world’s most impactful investor, enabling the creation of new sectors and opportunities that will shape the future global economy, while driving the economic transformation of Saudi Arabia."

The crown prince's interest in video games may just pay off in the long run. Earlier this year, the fund was used to purchase stakes in excess of 5% with both Capcom and Nexon, a South Korean online game publisher. And just last month, the prince acquired 96% of SNK, meaning the fund now has ownership over titles like Metal Slug and Fatal Fury

However, the biggest payout from the fund may just come in the near future. In December 2020, the fund purchased $3 billion worth of stock in Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two. In the event Microsoft successfully acquires Activision Blizzard, it could receive a nice profit.

The PIF's interest in video game companies may raise concerns for some gamers, especially given Saudi Arabia's history of human rights abuses. The crown prince himself has been accused of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

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