We're in the midst of high profile takeovers in the gaming industry, in addition to major investments. A lot of headlines have followed Tencent's increasingly prolific investments in game companies, but today the focus is on Saudi Arabia's 'Public Investment Fund' (PIF), a government-run sovereign wealth fund, which recently spent around $1 billion on stakes across two businesses.
The bigger chunk was spent on 5% of Nexon, a Korean firm with hugely successful online games. The more notable investment from a Nintendo / console perspective, however, is PIF's purchase of 5% of Capcom, which according to Bloomberg amounts to around $332 million in value at current share prices. They're being described as 'pure investment' moves, as opposed to precursors to a takeover; time will tell on that, but at present it's a modest shareholding.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund also has high profile stakes in Activision Blizzard (now pending a Microsoft takevover) EA and Take-Two, and has generated a lot of headlines in sport due to its purchase of a controlling stake in Newcastle United FC in England.
That latter takeover was the source of controversy and delay due to criticisms of Saudi Arabia's human rights record, and notably the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Wow, comments are on for this one? That's a shock
First 'sportswashing', now 'gameswashing'.
“Saudi” A Horrific Entity, money talks.
They want in on that ridiculously dumb NFT money they know is coming.
I ain't never been to Saudi Arabia so I ain't gonna judge.
Didn't MBS also buy SNK?
Noticing a trend here that isn't great...
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Will they force Chun Li and Cammy to cover up?
This is precisely why Microsoft's acquisition of Activision can be seen as protectionist rather than capitalist.
MS won't stop releasing gam,es on PlayStation because they know that there is still money to be made there but equally Microsoft do not want some unknwon chinese company, a foreign power or a rival tech firm like Amazon or Google coming in sweeping things up.
Not convinced there's a story here. It's 5%... and it's Capcom... On the long list of SAPIF investments I expect this to rank somewhere near the bottom and equally low on the list in terms of its significance.
To be fair SNK does look to be doing better since they were acquired by the Saudi investor and they don't seem to be doing any weird censorship
Well that’s horrifying. No different from their sportswashing.
Is this bad news? I’m honestly not that sure what it means for a foreign body to own 5% of shares belonging to another foreign company.
@Pokester99 I agree with you.
@Pokester99 From my perspective there are a few things at play, but I'll stick specifically obviously to the context of writing about gaming news on Nintendo Life.
The PIF investment is a sovereign state fund, so it's a financial instrument for the country's government to invest and purchase various assets. As a result the fund isn't separate from the country's authorities, which is why I mentioned those points at the end. In the case of Newcastle FC that takeover was held up for over a year due to debates around whether PIF passed the 'fit and proper' owner tests, due to those human rights issues.
The key is that it's a sovereign fund, not just a corporation based in a country. We do give context around issues when companies are involved too, for example when we write about Activision Blizzard we often highlight their ongoing issues. We endeavour to give that context when appropriate.
I'll leave it to moderators, but I do not appreciate the 'racist vibes' comment. If you think that about me by all means report me, but you are way, way off base on that.
@Thoughts they got shares in snk I think it was 15% but they said they would buy more up to 50% which would give them control over snk but last time I checked they have not brought any more yet
@Pokester99 Just as a small follow-up, I also don't agree with conflating a country's government / authorities with its people. A criticism of a government is not the same as a criticism of its citizens.
Just add more games to Arcade Stadium.
@rushiosan Yeah, I was wondering what happened with that. They've been taking an awfully long time. The original announcement was all the way back in April of last year.
I saw Nero from DMC crouching on the right and for a second I thought it was Soki from Onimusha 4. Now there's a series Capcom should revive.
@Pokester99 I understand that this is a sensitive topic, but Tom’s report is entirely fact-based and provides relevant context for the video games industry acquisition story here.
Also, I’m quite certain we are not publishing “constant negative coverage of Saudi Arabia”.
@Pokester99 With respect, the fact is we've written two articles about the Saudi Arabian authorities' investments. This one, and one about the Mohammad bin Salman Charity Foundation purchasing shares in SNK back in November 2020. Your remark about 'constant negative coverage' is inaccurate by any metric.
As I've also said, criticism of a government or authorities is not a criticism of a country's people.
Perhaps nothing I say will be persuasive to you, but I needed to point out that inaccuracy from your comment.
With respect, that'll be my last contribution to this thread, I've made my position as clear as I can.
@Pokester99 hold up - Saudis most senior rulership and no less than MBS himself actually ordered the murder of a journalist in absolutely brutal fashion. then basically stripped and refurnished the rooms he was murdered in whilst not allowing any investigators in to collect forensic evidence. An absolutely murderous criminal regime. Anywaym probably no more criminal than the US intel agencies or China. But come on, lets not pretend calling out Saudi is simply just 'racism'
If Newcastle United gets Monster Hunter kits....Day one buy!
@Pokester99 Saudi being singled out is not really 'racism' as such. It is more that Saudi is an acceptable target of criticism, but the reasons for this are more ideological than racial. You will notice western press, institutions and narratives almost never really criticise the Chinese government. they are afraid to do so. It is not because people are more racist against saudis or something like that. It is just like in the West these same narratives and set-ups never really criticise Communism and communist regimes despite the fact they are responsible for the most murder in human history. Also the same people never criticise American governments or intelligence agencies (i mean the deep power structures), despite the fact US intel agencies like the FBI and CIA are basically mafias with a massive sphere of influence. Same goes for Israel. So i dont see it as a question of racism - it is more built into the inherent globalist-liberal narrative structures (what is allowed to be said versus what isnt) that still dominate in many ways
@Pokester99 It's hard not to be negative about a horribly run country like Saudi Arabia... While most countries have done horrible things at one point in time or the other, Saudi continues to do it to this very day.
What's the deal with the sensitive Saudi Arabia warrior in the comment section? XD
@Pokester99 The standard of living is definitely better here then it is in Saudi Arabia. I live in a free country with a healthy economy and my wife can work and drive and dress however she chooses to.
Damn some salty Saudi Arabia defenders here lol. There’s a reason why people is negative when it comes to Saudi Arabia, snd that has nothing to racism to do.
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@smithyo Those exact issues would get someone killed in a country like Saudi Arabia...
@MrHonest I am not from Poland. I am British. I can speak a bit about Poland. It is a country under seige from big money looking to force Poland into the same homogenous globalist-liberalist model most the West has been brought under. Interestingly in Poland though, they dont have the level of tyranny and authoritarianism when it comes to mandates and coercion that other 'free' western nations have. There is still actual freedom in Poland to some degree.
Good. maybe they'll hurry them up on adding more games to Arcade Stadium.
@Pokester99 We’ve tweaked the article text to make clearer the status of the PIF as a government-run fund.
If you still wish to discuss editorial content and policy, or any other topic, please use our contact form.
@Pokester99 Due to their take over of Newcastle FC there has been many reports about the PIF in the UK, if you think this is slurring too far one way then you may want to avoid lots of the press from that.
@MrHonest do you want to enlighten me since you have such great insight. what are the issues you have?
@BloodNinja I wouldn’t worry too much since SNK has been doing just fine since saudi bought like 50% of them as opposed to 5% but idk.
Well there go the chances of Edgeworth and Phoenix ever getting together!! 😂😱
Yup, this comment section sure did non disappoint.
@Funneefox That’s what I was thinking, honestly.
Oh I'm sure there are private corporations accused of human rights abuses with stakes in game companies. It's just more abstracted than the obvious example of the Saudi government.
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New Arab animation studio with ties to Japan opened up and a movie was released recently. They trying to move into the entertainment section just like a lot of countries but they have the money to do it.
BABABOOEY! CORNHOLIO! HOWARD STERN! NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP, NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN. NEVER GONNA TURN AROUND AND DESSERT YOU!!
Just my two cents, before the comments get locked.
I guess gaming journalists would be advised to steer clear of negative reviews of Capcom games.
@Pokester99 You can check my history. I have no issues calling out the CCP or the US Government. To understand what I'm about to say as pure criticism of the regime and not the people. The House of Saud is a corrupt and vile regime. They have no issues purging those who speak out against them; they have murdered those who seek reform for all Arab people and directly fund terrorism that aims to continue the destabilization of the entire region of the Middle East. Let alone their track record regarding women's rights and those who are LGBT.
Has the US Government, the Rusian Government (formally the USSR) and the Chinese Government done similar things? Yes. Should we call out all regimes that do morally repugnant actions? YES! And no criticizing the House of Saud and expressing concerns regarding them is not the same as being racist towards Arabic peoples. That would be like saying criticizing the US Government is being racist towards Americans or being critical of the CCP is being racist against Chinese people. It is a ridiculous statement.
@Pokester99 I'm not completely sure what you mean. In general should Saudi Arabia be the only entity held accountable for human rights abuses? No, I don't believe that.
Is it easier? Well yes, my post was meant to point that out.
Is that happening here? Not really. In fact, it's not happening anywhere. In general, human rights abusers are not held accountable, Saudi Arabia included. But more specifically, this website isn't capable of that.
With all due respect to the lovely people at NintendoLife dot com, this isn't an international tribunal.
@Pokester99 I think you overestimate the judicial influence of this plumber-based gaming website.
Don’t think I want to support a country that try everything they can to make us pay manipulated oil price via their cartel in OPEC.
@Pokester99 In fairness, this article hasn't made any judgements on Saudi Arabia itself. The last two lines mention controversy of the Newcastle takeover 'due to criticisms of Saudi Arabia's human rights record', which is just objective fact. Justified or not, baseless or otherwise, people were making criticisms and that caused the delay in the takeover.
I don't see any opinion in the piece passing judgements about SA as a nation. It's easy for me to say from the outside but you do seem to be getting a tad sensitive over this.
@Pokester99 I could be wrong, but last time I checked, the Saudi in Saudi Arabia is specifically is in reference to the ruling family, the House of Saud. The ethnic makeup of the majority of the nation is Arab and Afro-Asian. Saudi Arabian (or Saudi if you want to shorthand) is a nationality, not a race, according to every document I can find regarding the racial makeup of Saudi Arabia. If you find a study that states otherwise, please share because I checked all over and could not find one that is peer-reviewed.
As for my previous point, if criticizing the House of Saud is racist, then criticizing the CCP is racist or the American Government is racist. It is a strawman argument to obfuscate the actual human rights violations that have been observed by the OHCHR, which the United Nations directly run. This is what the article is alluding to when discussing the investment from a government-run organization along with the alleged murder of a Washington Post journalist.
But, it is clear you did not look at my point, so I see no future need to continue this conversation.
@Pokester99 I admire your zeal and patriotism, but maybe you could admit that some criticism of Saudi Arabia is justified - in exactly the same way many westerners will admit their democracies are far from perfect.
Also, plenty of people have thrown up their hands when Microsoft bought Activision and pretty every time TenCent buys something. The reason Saudi Arabia is being namechecked here is because it’s a sovereign wealth fund. You can’t exactly blame Microsoft for American foreign policy or TenCent for the treatment of Uighurs.
If the UK government suddenly bought, say, Rockstar, maybe we could bring up Windrush, Randox, Partygate or even dredge up the long and inglorious history of colonialism.
Above all, though, I do actually find your perspective refreshing and it’s important to thoroughly examine our views and prejudices. It is indeed easy to fall into a trap of throwaway slurs and they need to be considered.
@Pokester99 if only you fought this hard to make you country a better place to live. Oh wait I’ve seen what your government does to those people… no wonder why you choose to focus your energy here instead 👍
This comments section is a laugh. Out and proud edgy communists defending Saudi society that chops off heads whilst being so upset over game developer workplace culture.
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@Pokester99 if you don’t like the way the site is ran and what they report then maybe you should move on or start your own website. No one is making you come here. Everything they stated in the article is a fact. If you perceive negativity from it well you probably should. I’m American and see dreadful things written about my country hourly. We can all only hope better for the future of our citizens and leaders and our world. Calling everyone out in the comment section is a bad look.
@Pokester99 great place if you are the right sex and religious beliefs. I’m sorry but I find that very hard to believe.
“ As with drugs, there is a prohibition on the manufacture, sale, possession, and consumption of alcohol in Saudi Arabia. Drinking is punishable by public flogging, fines, or lengthy imprisonment, accompanied by deportation in certain cases.”
Hmmm public flogging yea sounds like a caring ruling elite.
“ Sleeveless shirts, short dresses, loose tops, short bottoms, crop tops and miniskirts are strictly not allowed. Night clothes, under garments or anything that is inappropriate to be worn in public must be avoided. Bikinis, which are common among westerners, are taboo in Saudi Arabia, even on the beaches.”
Again this doesn’t like a very liberated people to me.
I’m sure I can easily find much more if you like.
@Pokester99 you wouldn’t be able to mate it’s illegal. Good argument though… so nothing else to say about your governments abuses of power?
As crap as America is right now and has been, we don't need to go around buying football teams and video game stocks to make ourselves less disgusting. Defend your country for its natural beauty, for its people and its culture, but don't lie to us and play the victim card when we know how atrocious life can be for certain "undesirables" living under totalitarian regimes.
@Pokester99 I just had to call you out on this weird patriotism and ignorance of the valid criticisms Saudi Arabia get. I think I have managed to make my point now and the whole ongoing arguments is not something I’m looking to do.
Hopefully some of the points that have been raised here will maybe help you have more of an open mind on these subjects. I only say that last thing as unfortunately there is a real human toll to some of Saudi Arabia’s policies.
Anyway for now we can agree to disagree 🤔
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Wow! Nintendo Life remove my post.
Love Nintendo life to let me know which of the governments in my post nobody is allowed to criticize. Speaking out against crimes of genocide or an apartheid state NL can't accept. Which one is it?
I love how Nintendo life removed my post simply because I criticized them. however they can freely criticize my country in a disrespectful way without any consequences. The hypocrisy is unmatched.
I am worried now.
If we are going to lock comments when Covid is mentioned might as well do it for political ones. Both invite toxic conversations yet only one is locked.
Man, what even are the comments here. lol
Anyone who thinks there'll be censorship has been living under a stone. First, they only bought 5%, and so I assume they don't have a majority to make such decisions. Second, even if they were the controlling majority, they no longer censor sexual contents in Saudi unless it involved homosexuality.
Are you still on this topic after a week. Get a life man.
Dude it has
A. Been a week since this was posted move on
B. I never was in a conversation with you, stop flooding my notifications because you can’t let things go.
@ThomasBW84 Hey white head. how about you stop attacking my country? seriously, I'm here to enjoy video game news and all you do is keep bashing my county with different racist posts. How about you grow up and stop spreading hate and racism?
limiting comments to a post and deleting all the comment that you racist don't like doesn't fix the problem.
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