The Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, leveled up its gaming portfolio with one of the most iconic names in the space.
The roughly $600 billion fund acquired a 5% stake in Nintendo for $3 billion, making it the company’s fifth largest shareholder.
With its latest purchase, the PIF, operated by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, adds to a list of gaming investments that already includes:
- Activision Blizzard
- Electronic Arts
- Take-Two Interactive
- Over 5% of Capcom and Nexon
- 33.3% of SNK, which is expected to increase to 51% in the future
Some analysts believe that Saudi Arabia is developing its own content sector and is buying stakes from gaming companies to learn from them. Others see the investments as a simple bet that the companies’ shares will rise.
While the PIF has been happy to invest across sports and gaming, it can raise challenging questions for those on the receiving end due to Saudi Arabia’s checkered human rights record.
The PIF’s purchase of Premier League team Newcastle for $373.6 million last year has drawn criticism, particularly in light of the U.K. government’s takeover of Chelsea FC after the sanctioning of its owner, Roman Abramovich.
Formula 1 has faced similar questions for continuing to race in Saudi Arabia.
Last year, “League of Legends” creator Riot Games backed out of a partnership planned with Saudi Arabian city Neom after facing criticism related to the country’s human rights record.