Saudi Arabia’s gaming hub is making its biggest acquisition to date.
Savvy Games Group, which is wholly owned by the country’s Public Investment Fund, has agreed to acquire game developer Scopely for $4.9 billion.
The move is the latest in Saudi Arabia’s broad initiative to diversify its economy through sports and gaming, among other sectors. Last year, Savvy acquired esports companies ESL Turtle Entertainment and FaceIT for a respective $1 billion and $500 million.
The PIF has significant holdings in the gaming sector, as it owns around 8.35% of Nintendo, 4.8% of Activision Blizzard, 5.8% of Electronic Arts, and 6.8% of Take-Two Interactive.
Scopely, whose portfolio includes “Star Trek Fleet Command,” “Stumble Guys,” and “Scrabble GO,” will operate autonomously. Savvy wrote that the company “will benefit from Savvy’s long-term, patient financial backing,” including “through strategic partnerships and acquisitions.”
Savvy’s pivot from esports to game development is geared toward making Saudi Arabia a major hub for the gaming industry.
The country is also spending lavishly on sports properties and events, including LIV Golf and the 2029 Asian Winter Games. Saudi Arabia is seeking to host the 2030 World Cup, and soccer legend Lionel Messi is considering an offer to join Cristiano Ronaldo in the country’s domestic league.