Saudi Arabia has purchased more shares in Electronic Arts, further increasing its stake in the company. According to a new filing that was published this week for the three months that ended March 31, 2023 (via Seeking Alpha), the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund increased its investment in EA from 16.01 million shares to 24.81 million during this time period.
That marks a 55% increase in the PIF’s investment or around 9% ownership of EA. Saudi Arabia has been pouring billions into various game companies over the last few years, as the country is aiming to become less dependent on its oil reserves as an economic driver.
As for EA, full-year revenues are up 6% to reach a total of $7.4 billion according to its fourth quarter and 2022 fiscal year earnings report that were released this month, thanks in part to record live services performance and increased engagement through games such as Apex Legends and FIFA 23. For the fiscal year that ends on March 31, 2024, EA predicts that it’ll pull in between $7.3 billion to $7.7 billion in revenue.
The sovereign wealth fund, through its Savvy Games Group division, is now Nintendo’s largest outside investor with an 8.26% investment in the gaming giant. It recently increased its stake in Embracer group with a $1 billion investment, and it has acquired more shares in EA, Activision-Blizzard, and Take-Two Interactive.
These deals have been controversial, as the Saudi government’s position on human rights has often been criticized and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused of ordering the death of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi back in 2018.