Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Foundation (MiSK Foundation) has taken over SNK Corporation, which developed Metal Slug and Fatal Fury games.
Saudi crown prince’s foundation. Electronic Gaming Development Company (EGDC), which is owned by the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation (MiSK Foundation), holds 96.18 percent of SNK’s shares, according to a filing on SNK’s website
This follows “a strategic investment” announced in November 2020, where the MiSK Foundation acquired an “initial” 33.3 percent stake in SNK. At the time, MiSK Foundation indicated it planned to eventually take a 51 percent stake in SNK, but it seems MiSK Foundation decided to buy a much larger stake.
“The Mohammed bin Salman Foundation’s (MiSK Foundation) investment in the Japanese company SNK reinforces its continuous commitment to its goals of empowering Saudi men and women through building economic partnerships, within the Foundation’s updated strategy to maximize the positive impact on youth empowerment,” MiSK Foundation said.
“The investment decision will also enhance SNK’s strong capabilities, which has many innovative intellectual properties in the gaming sector with real potential for development in the future in line with anticipated growth with the electronic gaming industry.”
Recently, Saudi Arabia has made some big investments in the gaming industry. Bloomberg reported that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has taken stakes of more than 5 percent in both Capcom and Nexon — stakes that, combined, are worth more than $1 billion. The PIF also invested more than $3.3 billion to buy stock in gaming giants Activision Blizzard, Al Jazeera reported.
But the investments carry the weight of Saudi Arabia’s recent history of human rights abuses. Most recently, a US intelligence report concluded Mohammed bin Salman approved the plans to “capture or kill” journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered and dismembered after visiting a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Riot Games received a wave of criticism for a sponsorship deal with the Saudi megacity Neom and ended the deal less than a day after it was announced.