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SNK is now almost wholly owned by the foundation of the Saudi Crown Prince.

SNK is now almost wholly owned by the foundation of the Saudi Crown Prince.

SNK Corporation, the developer of games such as Metal Slug and Fatal Fury, is now almost wholly owned by a subsidiary of the Saudi Crown Prince Foundation. The Electronic Gaming Development Company (EGDC), which is owned by the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation (MISK Foundation), holds 96.18 percent of SNK's shares, according to a February 15 filing on SNK's website (PDF).

This follows "a strategic investment" announced in November 2020, where the Misk Foundation acquired an "initial" 33.3 percent stake in SNK. At the time, the Misch Foundation indicated that it planned to eventually take a 51 percent stake in SNK, but it appears that the Misch Foundation has decided to buy a much larger stake.

"The Mohamed Bin Salman Foundation's (MiSK Foundation) investment in the Japanese company SNK, within the Foundation's updated strategy to maximize positive impact on youth empowerment, aims to empower Saudi men and women through building economic partnerships." reaffirms its continued commitment to the development of the community," the MiSK Foundation said in the press release for that investment. "The investment decision will also enhance SNK's strong capabilities, which have a number of innovative intellectual properties in the gaming sector with real potential for future growth [sic] in line with anticipated growth with the electronic gaming industry."

Recently, Saudi Arabia has made some major investments in the gaming industry. Bloomberg reported in February that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has picked up more than a 5 percent stake in both Capcom and Nexon -- which are jointly valued at more than $1 billion. PIF invested more than $3.3 billion in gaming giant Activision Blizzard (to be acquired by Microsoft), EA and Take-Two to buy stock in the fourth quarter of 2020, Al Jazeera reported in February 2021.

But the investments carry the weight of Saudi Arabia's recent history of human rights abuses. Recently, a US intelligence report concluded that Mohammed bin Salman had approved a plan to "capture or kill" journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated after visiting a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Riot Games received a flurry of criticism for a sponsorship deal with Saudi megacity Neom and the deal ended less than a day after it was announced.

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