Saudi PIF buys into Japanese gaming firms Nexon, Capcom
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has bought minority stakes in Japanese gaming companies Nexon Co. and Capcom Co., as the sovereign wealth fund continues to make big bets on the fast-growing sector.
PIF has purchased about 5% stake each in the two companies, Bloomberg reported. The stakes are currently worth around $1.2 billion, it said. While PIF’s stake in Nexon is valued around $883 million, its holding in Capcom is worth almost $332 million, the report said, citing the fund’s regulatory filings.
Nexon is behind role-playing games like MapleStoey and Dungeon & Fighter. Its titles are popular in South Korea. It also has a tie-up with the directors of the Avengers movies to make games themed on their movies. Capcom is the maker of the Street Fighter and Resident Evil franchises.
The development comes to light less than two weeks after PIF launched Savvy Gaming Group and acquired two gaming companies, ESL Gaming and FACEIT, in two deals valued cumulatively at $1.5 billion. The two companies will be merged to create ESL Faceit Group under Savvy Gaming, PIF said late last month.
PIF’s move to diversity into the gaming industry is part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its economy away from oil and gas and into new-age tech businesses. This comes even as foreign investors are taking a keen interest in Saudi gaming startups.
PIF has made bets on several other gaming companies including buying a minority stake in Activision Blizzard. It also owns shares in Electronic Arts Inc and Take Two Interactive Software.
Activision Blizzard is being acquired by Microsoft for $68.7 billion. Take Two is acquiring Zynga for $12.7 billion.