MIDDLE EAST

Controversial Saudi Crown Prince Invests Billions in Three More Game Companies

Prince Mohammed bin Salman has invested over $3 billion in Activision, EA, and Take-Two last year

The controversial Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has once again invested a significant amount of money into international games companies: this time, Take-Two, EA, and Activision-Blizzard.

An SEC filing from a few days ago gives a rundown of a number of new investments undertaken by the Public Investment Fund, or PIF, a fund chaired by the Crown Prince with the goal of diversifying the country from its dependence on oil.

These investments include 14.9 million shares in Activision, 7.4 million shares of EA, and 3.9 million shares of Take-Two acquired during the fourth quarter of last year. The total value of the shares between the three companies is over $3 billion.

This isn’t the first time Prince Salman has invested in video game companies, either. Last year he also purchased a third of Japanese fighting game maker SNK through a charity organization he heads up called MiSK, at the time announcing his intention to eventually take majority ownership of the company.

He has previously told Bloomberg that his interest in gaming stems from being a part of the first generation in Saudi Arabia to grow up playing video games.

Prince Salman has previously been implicated by the CIA in the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, though Saudi Arabia has denied the claims. He has also been accused of sending a hit squad to Canada to kill a former Saudi intelligence official, as well as criticized for his involvement in the alleged jailing and torturing of political activists in the country and specifically urged by the UN to free jailed women’s rights defenders — all of which Saudi Arabia denies.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

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