SNK may soon see a new foreign majority holder. Electronic Gaming Development Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s MiSK Foundation, purchased 28.8% of SNK shares owned by Hong Kong’s Zuikaku Co. Ltd. in the Korean Exchange. When the transfer completes on January 12, 2021, EGDC is expected to become the largest shareholder of the Japanese game brand. The foundation also stated its intention to eventually become the majority holder of SNK with a total of 51%. [Thanks, 4Gamer and Game*Spark!]
SNK is well-known for creating fighting games, such as The King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown, and the Metal Slug side-scrolling action game series. It is also known to have produced Neo Geo consoles and arcade cabinets in the past.
Originally founded in 1973 as Shin Nihon Kikaku Corp, the Japanese video game company eventually became known as SNK Corporation in 1986. However, it went bankrupt in 2001, when it was then acquired by Playmore, another company founded by SNK’s founder Eikichi Kawasaki.
In 2015, a Chinese online game company 37Games acquired 81.25% of Kawasaki’s stakes in SNK Playmore. This would eventually lead to the company leaving the pachinko business to focus on console and mobile games, as well as the restoration of the SNK Corporation name in 2016. SNK recently started trading in the Korean KOSDAQ exchange market in May 2019.
In March 2018, SNK added a Saudi character named Najd and a Masmak Fort Arena stage based in Riyadh as DLC for The King of Fighters XIV. These additions were based on the winners of a contest held in the Middle East by Manga Productions. The latter is also a subsidiary of the MiSK Foundation founded by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.