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Savvy Games Group acquires Scopely for $4.9 billion

Scopely today announced that it has struck a deal to be acquired by Savvy Games Group for $4.9 billion.

The mobile publisher behind titles like Marvel Strike Force, Stumble Guys, and Star Trek: Fleet Command is the latest in a string of games investments for the Saudi Arabian government-owned Savvy.

Scopely said it will remain an autonomously operating company under Savvy. The company also said the deal will allow it to “extend its live services expertise to new segments like PC, console, and other genres of gameplay.”

In explaining the deal, Scopely co-founder Walter Driver underscored commonalities between the mobile outfit and its soon-to-be parent.

“Savvy Games Group shares our long-held belief that the companies who have built the deepest relationships with their players will succeed,” Driver said. “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.”

Last year Savvy laid out plans to invest almost $38 billion into making Saudi Arabia “the ultimate global hub for the games and esports sector by 2030,” saying it set aside $13 billion to acquire a major publisher as part of that. While the Scopely purchase leaves a significant chunk of that money left over, a representative characterized the deal as the fulfillment of that goal.

Saudi Arabia’s gaming push seen the kingdom pick up stakes in Embracer Group, Nintendo, Capcom, Nexon, SNK, and esports organizations like VSPO and ESL Gaming.

Savvy Games Group is 100% owned by the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), and has Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman serving as the chairman of its board of directors.

US intelligence believes the crown prince ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October of 2018. Last year the Biden administration argued to give him immunity from a civil lawsuit brought by Khashoggi’s fiancée.

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