Savvy Gaming Group to acquire game maker Scopely for $4.9 billion

According to Savvy Gaming Group CEO Brian Ward, Scopely is one of the fastest-growing gaming companies.

Saudi esports company Savvy Gaming Group, which is owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, will acquire California-based mobile video game developer and publisher Scopely for $4.9 billion, according to a statement posted Wednesday on the Savvy Gaming Group website.

Scopely, founded in 2011, publishes free-to-play mobile games that do not require purchases for the user. It repeatedly raised funds from large investors and also grew by acquiring the business of other developers, including the core divisions of 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox) and the Sony Group.

“Scopely is one of the fastest growing gaming companies today, and we have long admired their ability to build loyal and engaged communities of gamers,” Savvy Gaming Group CEO Brian Ward said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund announced the creation of the Savvy Gaming Group last January after Swedish media holding Modern Times Group agreed to sell its esports company ESL Gaming. The Foundation paid $1.05 billion for it.

In its first year of existence, Savvy Gaming Group made several investments in major esports platforms such as ESL Pro League and Faceit. According to Ward, the company intends to invest $38 billion in the gaming industry in the near future, as part of Saudi Arabia’s strategy to diversify its economy dependent on oil exports.

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