Usually, when we talk about investing in the gaming world, we’re talking about Tencent, everyone’s favorite Chinese mega company. But as anxious as Tencent can make us, as it slowly expands itself further and deeper in the gaming industry — it’s ultimately still a private company. Compliant with authoritative Chinese regimes, sure, but not directly tied to them. And this has been nicely reflected in the fact that, by and large, they don’t interfere with game development. They’re really just in it for the money.
However, that’s probably not the case with the latest big money to throw itself into the gaming arena: as it was just announced that Saudi Arabia has utilized its Public Investment Fund to invest 3.3 billion dollars — that’s billion, with a B — into buying millions of shares in EA, Take-Two, and Activision-Blizzard: three of the biggest (and worst) companies in the whole gaming space.
While spreading this 3.3 billion around has made the actual percentage of ownership in each company comparatively small, it’s still nothing to sneeze at: and what’s more, it’s certainly enough to buy some leverage in these famously problematic companies, which could lead to future collaborations with their famous — and increasingly troubling — NEOM project. A collaboration so toxic even Riot Games stepped away from a planned collaboration with the sci-fi dystopia of tomorrow.
Needless to say, the crowned prince, Mohammed bin Salman, isn’t doing this for the money: he’s got more than enough capital, and then some. If he’s making investments like this, it’s because he’s got a plan, and given how comically evil Saudi Arabia has been in the past… I can only assume it’s going to be something really, really bad.
This is the guy who wants to build an artificial moon to monitor citizens in his sci-fi city. Comical evil is just in his blood.