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King of Fighters and Metal Slug Creators SNK Acquired by Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia



King of Fighters and Metal Slug Creators SNK Acquired by Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian Electronic Gaming Development Company, owned by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, acquires 33.3% of SNK’s shares …

All video game lovers will surely remember the legendary SNK, the Japanese company responsible for such legendary games as Fatal Fury, Metal Slug, and The King of Fighters, as well as the 16-bit Neo-Geo console, which was a success in Japan and won over many players in America and Europe.

The surprise is that the Saudi company EGDC, owned by the heir to the Saudi Arabian throne, Mohammed bin Salman, has bought the legendary SNK. This is not exactly the case, as it has acquired 33.3% of the Japanese company’s shares.

It should be remembered that SNK was acquired in 2015 by a group of investors from China, and now part of the cake is being taken by the heir to the Saudi throne, which is owned by the Electronic Gaming Development Company.

The purchase operation will be closed in January 2021, for the astronomical sum of $57 billion. Some users have used this as a humorous reference to what it took to buy a Neo-Geo in the 1990s.

This does not imply a total transfer of SNK’s shares to Mohammed bin Salman, but rather that he becomes the largest shareholder in the Japanese company, namely 33.3% of the share package. The deal has been closed thanks to the heir to the Saudi Arabian throne’s large financial investment.

This purchase of SNK is part of an operation called Saudi Vision 2030, which consists of diversifying the culture and technology of Saudi Arabia and thus enhancing its image to the whole world. It seems that Mohammed bin Salman is fed up with his country’s stereotypes about oil.

As a matter of fact, the figure of Mohammed bin Salman is quite controversial, and he is one of those accused of the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, of The Washington Post, in addition to mass executions of civilians in 2019 and the arrest of human rights activists.

What changes will we see in classic SNK characters like Iori Yagami, Andy Bogard, or Mai Shiranui? How will this affect sagas like King of Fighters, Metal Slug, or Fatal Fury? Will we see a new Neo-Geo?

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