Skip to main content

Saudi Arabia increases stake in EA gaming by 55%

The PIF held 16.01 million shares in Electronic Arts (EA) before Q4 2022, but after Q1 2023, it held 24.81 million shares.
People attend the International E-Sport Gamers forum "Next World" in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Sept. 7, 2022.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is pumping more money in the gaming industry, and has increased its stake in American gaming company Electronic Arts (EA) by 55%.

The PIF revealed the investment in a filing made on Monday detailing its first calendar quarter (Q1) of 2023. 

What happened: The PIF’s January to March filing, released on Monday, showed that the fund purchased more shares of EA during Q4 of 2022. 

The PIF held 16.1 million shares in the FIFA and Madden NFL game publisher before Q4 2022, but after Q1 2023, it held 24.81 million shares, according to financial research publisher Seeking Alpha. This is a 55% increase. 

EA currently has 276 million outstanding shares, putting the PIF’s stake at 8.99%.

Why it matters: EA is one of the many US game publishing companies that Saudi Arabia's PIF has invested in as part of the kingdom’s push to become a leader in the sector by 2030. 

Saudi Arabia already has investments in Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive from the United States.

In February 2023, Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund became Nintendo’s largest outside investor, holding 8.26% shares of the famed Japanese gaming publisher. It also owns stakes in game publishing companies Capcom and Nexon. 

The PIF-launched Savvy Gaming Group bought leading esports events and competitions company ESL for $1.5 billion and FACE IT Company early last year. It also bought $1 billion in shares of Swedish video game and media holding company Embracer Group in 2022. 

Saudi Arabia’s Electronic Gaming (EGDC) also owns 96.18% of Japanese games developer SNK after a deal made in February of last year. EGDC is owned by the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation, known as MiSK Foundation. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced his country’s National Gaming and Esports Strategy in September of last year, an arm of its Vision 2030 that in part plans to transform the country’s economy and reduce its reliance on traditional fossil fuels by developing other sectors in part. 

Salman said his country’s gaming strategy will add $13 billion to the gross domestic product and create 39,000 jobs by 2030. 

Know more: After Saudi Arabia released its National Gaming and Esports Strategy last year, members of the kingdom's local gaming industry say community players, developers and startups are key to actualizing the plan’s ambitious goals.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Gulf Briefing Gulf Briefing

Gulf Briefing

Top GCC stories in your inbox each week

Trend Reports

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (4th R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. (Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images)

From roads to routers: The future of China-Middle East connectivity

A general view shows the solar plant in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, on March 29, 2018. - On March 27, Saudi announced a deal with Japan's SoftBank to build the world's biggest solar plant. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Regulations on Middle East renewable energy industry starting to take shape

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial