RIYADH: Savvy Games, wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has signed an agreement to acquire US-based gaming firm Scopely for $4.9 billion.
Touted to be one of the biggest acquisitions ever happened in the gaming industry, the move is expected to catalyze Saudi Arabia’s efforts to evolve as a global gaming hub, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.
“At Savvy Games Group, our mission is to invest in – and grow – the global games community by inviting the best minds to join us,” said Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy Games Group.
He added: “Scopely is one of the fastest-growing games companies today, and we have long admired their ability to build loyal, engaged player communities.”
Scopely is known for developing free-to-play franchises including Star Trek Fleet Command, Stumble Guys, Scrabble Go and Yahtzee with Buddies.
“Savvy Games Group shares our long-held belief that the companies who have built the deepest relationships with their players will succeed. Together, as one, we will be able to further expand the possibilities of play, continuing to develop beloved game experiences for players around the world,” said Scopely co-CEO Walter Driver.
J.P. Morgan acted as the lead financial adviser to Savvy on this transaction. Bank of America and Aream also acted as financial advisers to Savvy, while Latham and Watkins acted as legal adviser.
Saudi Arabia is now moving ahead to become a gaming hub, and the most crucial step to achieve this mission was made in September 2022, as the Kingdom’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the Savvy Games Group’s strategy.
Under the strategy, the Kingdom will invest $37.7 billion in the industry, aimed at establishing 250 game companies in the Kingdom, which will create 39,000 jobs, and raise the sector’s gross domestic product contribution to SR50 billion by 2030.
Earlier in February, the PIF had increased its stake in Japanese video game-developing company Nintendo from 6.07 percent to 7.1 percent.
Nintendo is one of the most prominent names in the global video games industry, with a legacy of developing popular games like Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda, and Mario.