It looks like the kingdom wants to continue digging deep into its coffers and investing in video games.
According to multiple sources, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to sink $38 billion into the video game industry, with $13 billion dedicated specifically to the purchase of a "leading game publisher."
The Crown Prince will leave the investments in the hands of Savvy Games Group, a fully-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.
The investment will be divided into four parts, namely:
- $18.7 billion - "a series of minority stake investments in key companies that support Savvy's game development agenda."
- $13.3 billion - "the acquisition and development of a leading game publisher to become a strategic development partner."
- $5.3 billion - "mature industry partners who add value and expertise to Savvy's portfolio."
- $533 million - "diversified investments in industry disruptors to grow early-stage games and esports companies."
Previously, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made significant investments in Capcom, Nexon, Nintendo, ESL Gaming, SNK, and even Embracer Group. Now, all bets are off on who will receive the substantial cash influx. $13.3 billion is a lot of money and there aren't that many companies worth that amount. Keep in mind that Bungie and Bethesda Softworks were "only" bought for $3.6 billion and $7.5 billion, respectively. The only recent acquisition close to the said amount is Zynga, which Take-Two paid $12.7 billion to acquire earlier this year.
With a $15 billion market cap, Saudi Arabia could technically purchase Bandai Namco if the price is right. Of course, that's if the Elden Ring publisher is looking to sell. Other candidates include Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, but their values aren't close to the allotted budget.
Regardless of which company Saudi Arabia is eyeballing right now, it's likely to hold the title of the second-most expensive video game acquisition for a while, or at least third if Savvy doesn't spend its entire budget.
The most expensive video game acquisition in history belongs to Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. Bought at a $68.7 billion valuation, Nintendo or Sony will have to be willing to sell in the first place for this record to be topped. The buyout is still under investigation by the regulatory bodies around the globe. However, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, is confident that the deal will push through.