The deal will eventually rise to a 51 per cent share
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia’s official charity has bought one third of Japanese gaming company SNK Corporation.
The Mohammed bin Salman Charitable Foundation, better known as “Misk”, paid £162million for the stake. As reported by Eurogamer, Misk confirmed it would soon purchase another 17.7 per cent of SNK in a statement released following the sale.
This additional sale will take the stake to 51 per cent, giving the foundation majority shareholdings when it goes through.
The development is the latest in a long line of moves by bin Salman to increase Saudi Arabia’s cultural reputation. However, many of his moves have been criticised.
Riot Games recently ended a sponsorship deal for League Of Legends with NEOM after fans expressed concern over Saudi Arabia’s involvement. Saudi Arabia has a decade-long WWE deal and will also host its first F1 Grand Prix next year. Both events have drawn fan complaints.
Much of the criticism stems from the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, for which the CIA officially attributed to Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia’s also has a poor human rights record. Homosexuality is illegal in the country [via HRW.org].
As TRT World reported in September, Saudi Arabia’s government is confirmed to be investigating Misk following a US Justice Department investigation that linked a Misk executive to a campaign to recruit spies through Twitter.
SNK, meanwhile, was responsible for some of the biggest games of the 1980s and early 1990s including The King Of Fighters, Metal Slug, and Samurai Shodown. However the company went bankrupt in 2002 and has since been reborn as a smaller company.
The business was most recently in the headlines regarding Fatal Fury and King Of Fighters character Terry Bogard being a surprise addition to Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
SNK is yet to comment on the Misk acquisition.