As the powers that be continue to increase their economic influence, they are actively looking for new markets to gain a foothold in multiple media. Chinese tech giants like Tencent, for example, have been very aggressive in carving out a niche for themselves in the gaming industry with significant investments in companies like Epic Games and Riot Games. Apparently, Saudi Arabia also wants to participate in this.
SNK Corporation It is one of the oldest video game companies still active in Japan, along with other powerful Japanese companies such as Capcom and Square Enix. Founded in 1978 under the name Shin Nihon Kikaku as a developer of arcade games, the studio is responsible for popular series such as Metal Slug, The King of Fighters, and Fatal Fury, among others.
The company also attempted to enter the console market with the Neo Geo line of consoles, a family of systems ranging from home systems to handheld devices that SNK produced between 1990 and 2004.
On April 5, it was announced that the company had become the property of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, following a large investment from the Electronic Gaming Development Company, owned by the Mohammad bin Salman Foundation. EGDC acquired 96.18% of the shares of SNK Corporationa more substantial investment than the previously announced 51% that the MiSK Foundation spoke of in a press release.
“The Mohammed bin Salman Foundation’s (MiSK Foundation) investment in SNK continues a long association with the Japanese company that includes previous work on joint animation and video game projects, through MiSK subsidiary Manga Productions.“, says the statement from the MiSK Foundation.
The actual acquisition of SNK by the MiSK Foundation is also not the first major investment by Saudi Arabia in the video game industry. Capcom, Take-Two, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard have seen investments made by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund since 2020.