Feb 16, 2023 - Technology

Saudi stake in EA, Take-Two grows as it pours money into gaming

Video game screenshot of a car racing down a highway while another flips in mid-air

Grand Theft Auto V. Screenshot: Rockstar Games / Take Two Interactive

Saudi Arabia recently increased its investment in EA and Take-Two Interactive while pouring more money into esports as well.

Driving the news: A series of financial disclosures this week reinforced the kingdom's stated goal to eventually invest billions into the games industry.


  • The country's sovereign wealth fund increased its stake in EA from 5.1% to 5.8% with the acquisition of 2 million more shares as of the end of 2022, according to one new filing.
  • Its stake in Grand Theft Auto maker Take-Two grew from 5.3% to 6.8% by the end of last year, after it obtained nearly 3 million more shares.
  • The country's Public Investment Fund has also reportedly increased its stake in Nintendo from 5.0% to 7.1%.

Esports boosters: The Saudi government-funded Savvy Gaming Group announced today that it is investing $265 million into Chinese esports giant VSPO.

  • Savvy's first public gaming investments, in January 2022, involved the purchase of two major esports organizations for $1.5 billion.
  • Aside from Savvy's moves, esports investment has cooled globally.

The big picture: The official goals for Saudi Arabia's investment in gaming include diversification of the kingdom's economy and supporting a younger population in the region.

  • But the involvement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who chairs the Savvy group, has elicited questions about the investment as a means of reputation washing, given the country's human rights record.

What's next: Savvy has committed to investing $38 billion into gaming and has earmarked $13 billion to acquire a major game publisher.

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