Saudi Arabia purchases a five per cent stake in Nintendo

The country had previously invested in Japanese games companies SNK and Capcom

A five per cent stake of Nintendo has been purchased by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

That’s according to a Bloomberg report from earlier today (May 18), with a spokesperson telling the publication that Nintendo learned about the investment from news reports, whilst declining further comments on its shareholders.

Precisely a 5.01 per cent stake has been purchased, making it Saudi Arabia’s third investment in a Japanese games company and makes the country Nintendo’s fifth-largest shareholder.

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As Nintendo is a publicly traded company in Japan the PIF is able to invest in it, with Nintendo having no control in who decides to purchase part of the company.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Credit: Nintendo

The PIF says the purchase was made for investment purposes, which is the same reasoning given for previous investments of this kind. Saudi Arabia has invested in both Capcom and Nexon in the last two years as well.

Tokyo Securities senior analyst Hideki Yasuda said of the Nintendo investment: “Saudi Arabia has been beefing up efforts to create its own content industry, and this series of investments in Japanese game companies is likely a way for them to learn from Japan.”

Back in 2020 Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman purchased a third of gaming company SNK, with a further 17.7 per cent purchased coming later to make the stake 51 per cent. The PIF also reportedly purchased over £2.1billion worth of gaming companies last year, including Activision Blizzard, Take-Two and EA.

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In other news, Diablo 3 had a League Of Legends-style MOBA PvP game mode in development before release, but it was cut from the game. According to senior game designer Wyatt Cheng, the modes they tested were “super fun,” but only when used with pre-created characters.

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