Mohammed Bin Salman, the controversial Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, invested again into three international game companies: Take-Two, EA, and Activision-Blizzard, for a significant amount of consideration of over $3 billion.
The SEC filing released a few days ago provides a rundown of the new investments chaired by the Crown Prince undertaken by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) aiming to promote the diversification of the country from their dependence on oil.
During the fourth quarter of 2020, a total of over $3 billion shares were acquired between the three gaming companies and includes these shares as follows: 14.9 million shares in Activision-Blizzard, 7.4 million shares in EA, and 3.9 million shares in Take-Two.
This would not be the first time that Crown Prince has invested in video game companies. Last year, he brought one-third SNK, a Japanese fighting game maker, via a charity organization he holds called the MiSK. Upon his announcement of buying, he indeed to eventually take over the majority of the ownership of the company.
The Crown Prince is part of the first generation in Saudi Arabia to have grown up playing video games and because of this, Prince Salman has been showing his interest in gaming.
Activision Blizzard games include the famous Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Candy Crush, and more. Take-Two games include NBA 2K21, Borderlands, Grand Theft Auto, and W2K Battle Grounds. EA games, on the other hand, has in its roster FIFA 21, Star Wars Squadrons, Plants vs Zombies, SIMS4, and Apex Legends among many others.
The controversy of the Crown Prince sprung from his implications by the CIA brought by the assassination of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi which was denied by Saudi Arabia. Prince Salman was also accused of the hit squad sent in Canada to go after a former Saudi intelligence official. He was also criticized for his involvement in the issue of jail and torture of political activists. All these claims had been denied by Saudi Arabia.