Embracer Promises It "Will Not Change" Following $1 Billion Saudi Investment

The Savvy Gaming Group, a company backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, recently purchased a $1 billion stake in Embracer Group, the Swedish games firm that owns Gearbox, 3D Realms, Aspyr Media, and most recently, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos. The purchase raised some eyebrows both within Embracer Group and from media outlets, largely due to Saudi Arabia’s questionable human rights record.

Perhaps sensing the elephant in the room, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors has issued a lengthy statement on SGG’s stake in the company.

"I want to be clear that Embracer will continue to be operated by me, our operative CEOs and management teams across the entire Group. Embracer is built on the principles of freedom, inclusion, humanity and openness," Wingefors wrote on Embracer’s site. "The transaction with SGG will not change this in any way."

Wingefors noted that Embracer is still controlled by its internal members and that SGG supports Embracer's "current vision, strategy, and leadership." Wingefors also noted that SGG has large investments in multiple publishers and developers, including Nintendo, Capcom, Nexon, EA, Activision, Take-Two, and others.

"We genuinely believe that SGG, a fully commercial entity, has ambitions within gaming that are genuine in supporting the global ecosystem for our industry that are consistent with and important to the values and culture of our industry," Wingefors added.

With so many developers churning out games, why does Embracer need money at all? Embracer Group has spent a lot of money over the last year and a half, and in order for Embracer to be a "sustainable company" it requires large investments.

"In order to stay as an independent company based in Sweden, we have been searching for more international long-term partners with capital that supports our strategy. For Embracer, there is only a handful of players in the world providing this type of sizable long-term equity capital."

But it's not just about the money, according to Wingefors. "I truly believe in inclusion and the change that can be affected by opening our content to new markets. By bringing more of our products to the MENA region, we have the opportunity to build local connections, support entrepreneurs, employ a diverse group of people in our whole ecosystem, promote growth and bring the world closer together through gaming."

If there are two things that connect the world these days, it’s definitely money and gaming.

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