Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), the country's sovereign wealth fund, has further increased its stake in Electronic Arts (EA), solidifying its presence in the lucrative video game industry. This move follows the PIF's significant investment of $38 billion in the sector.
According to a financial filing examined by Seeking Alpha, the PIF has boosted its shares in Electronic Arts by 55%, growing its ownership from 16.01 million shares to an impressive 24.81 million shares. Electronic Arts is renowned for its sports titles, including Madden NFL, EA Sports PGA Tour, NHL, F1, and FIFA. Notably, upcoming editions of the popular FIFA series will be rebranded as EA Sports FC due to EA and FIFA's failure to reach a new licensing agreement.
In recent developments, Saudi Arabia's Savvy Games Group, a subsidiary of the PIF, made a noteworthy acquisition of mobile games studio Scopely for a hefty sum of $4.9 billion in the previous month. The PIF also holds stakes in gaming giants Tencent, Take-Two Interactive, Activision Blizzard, and Nintendo. In fact, the PIF is the largest external investor in Nintendo, owning an 8.3% stake in the company.
The increased investment in Electronic Arts by Saudi Arabia comes amidst the country's efforts to entice soccer superstar Lionel Messi to join the Saudi Professional League. Additionally, the PIF boasts ownership of sporting entities such as LIV Golf and English Premier League club Newcastle United.
Saudi Arabia's strategic expansion in Electronic Arts and the broader gaming industry demonstrates its commitment to diversifying its investment portfolio and tapping into the growing global gaming market. The PIF's continued investments in prominent gaming companies underscore its ambition to shape the future of entertainment and sports.