Saudi Arabia increases its stake in Electronic Arts by 55%
by Danny Craig ·
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has reportedly purchased more shares in the publisher over the last quarter, raising its ownership stake to around 9%.
- According to Seeking Alpha, a new filing for the first quarter of 2023 reveals that the PIF purchased additional shares in EA during the fourth quarter of 2022. Previously, the PIF held 16.01 million shares in the company, which had increased by 55% to 24.81 million by March 31. EA has a reported total of over 274 million outstanding shares, meaning that the PIF's total ownership stake is around 9%.
- The PIF has invested billions of dollars in the industry's biggest publishers, including EA, Take-Two Interactive, and Activision Blizzard. It also became Nintendo's largest outside investor after increasing its stake to 8.26% in February, in addition to purchasing approximately 8.1% of Embracer Group's shares for a massive $1 billion to expand the company's reach in the MENA region.
- Savvy Gaming Group, a PIF subsidiary, announced plans to make the state the "next hub" for the gaming and esports industries by 2030, with a massive $38 billion set aside to accomplish this goal. It set out to buy a major publisher in April and settled on Scopely, a mobile publisher and developer, for $4.9 billion, which was only a portion of its $13 billion budget.
- The state is likely to increase its stakes even further shortly, as it appears to be an unstoppable force due to its wealth. Many people are strongly opposed to Saudi Arabia's growing presence in gaming since the country's human rights record is poor, with homosexuality being illegal, which seems to be the reason behind Final Fantasy XVI's ban in the state.
More gaming news:
- EA CEO Andrew Wilson has stated that the company wishes to bring back the Battlefield series in an "entirely new way," with the franchise remaining a "meaningful part" of the company's future.
- The European Commission approved Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard after the company addressed its concerns regarding cloud gaming. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has responded to the decision, stating that while it respects the decision, it will continue to oppose the deal.