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Front Office Sports: Saudi Arabia wants to be a hub for gaming, plans $37.8 billion investment in the industry


Saudi Arabia is making its next big move in an ongoing effort to diversify its economy.

Savvy Games Group, owned in full by the country’s Public Investment Fund, is planning to invest $37.8 billion in gaming and esports with the goal of making the country a hub for gaming.

The group is reportedly setting aside $13.3 billion to acquire “a leading game publisher to become a strategic development partner.”

The investments will also include $18.6 billion in minority stakes.

The country said that the strategy would establish 250 gaming companies in Saudi Arabia, create 39,000 jobs, and raise the sector’s GDP contribution to $13.3 billion.

The PIF, Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth fund, is no stranger to gaming investments. It holds a $2.9 billion stake in Activision Blizzard, a $1.9 billion stake in Electronic Arts, a $1.4 billion stake in Take-Two Interactive, and took a 5.01% stake in Nintendo in May, becoming its third-largest shareholder.

Courting Controversy

Saudi Arabia’s sports investments have caused tension between leagues and athletes who accept their funds and others who protest the country’s human rights record, including its backing of the war in Yemen and its murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The PIF is also funding LIV Golf and is the majority owner of the Premier League club Newcastle.

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Ever wonder what your favorite players have been up to since retiring from the game? Watch the latest episode of Second Acts, a new series from Front Office Sports, here.

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