It explains why Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has bought a 5% stake in the iconic gaming firm Nintendo. The purchase revealed in a filing to Japan’s finance ministry makes PIF the fifth-largest stakeholder of Nintendo. The firm, which created gaming titles such as Super Mario and Donkey Kong, is currently struggling with a chip shortage for its handheld Switch console.
Before Nintendo, PIF has also picked up stakes in another Japanese game developer Capcom, which has created the iconic Streetfighter and Resident Evil. Apart from that, it has investments in an online gaming firm Nexon. The kingdom had previously acquired Japanese game developer SNK and investments in firms such as Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts.
Over the years, Saudi Arabia has hosted esports tournaments, including a PubG championship. The country has also announced that it’ll establish a gaming studio as part of its $500 billion project NEOM. Apart from the kingdom, the UAE is also developing the twofour54 hub, an ecosystem for game developers and esports firms.
With the largest number of gamers in the Middle East, the gaming industry in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt combined are expected to be worth more than $3 billion by 2025.
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