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Asmodee, Saudi Arabia, and game-washing?

pacnw.owlbear

Explorer
I couldn't find a thread about the news item posted on the topic of " Asmodee parent company Embracer Group raised $1.05 billion from Saudi Arabia government investing company Savvy Gaming Group" that came through on the News Digest e-mail.
Am I the only one that is puzzled over the Saudis getting in on tabletop gaming? The reason I bring this up is because of what's been going on in the sports world where governments with questionable ethics (human rights violations, suppression of free media, etc.) have been "sponsoring" feel-good sporting events (Russia and China sponsoring the Olympics, Qatar sponsoring World Cup) or swooping in to save sport clubs (Middle Eastern countries) or sponsoring rival sporting events (Saudi backed golf tour).
Freakonomics podcast has a recent episode on sportwashing that might help you understand this phenomena of using money and soft diplomacy to gain a better image.
 

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billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
It's not necessarily any different from major corporations/robberbarons sponsoring opera halls, hospital wings, libraries and other philanthropic endeavors. They're all for the tax write offs and public relations.
It isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it shouldn't let them off their well-deserved hooks we managed to sink into them for their bad behavior.
 



Catolias

Explorer
It's not necessarily any different from major corporations/robberbarons sponsoring opera halls, hospital wings, libraries and other philanthropic endeavors. They're all for the tax write offs and public relations.
It isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it shouldn't let them off their well-deserved hooks we managed to sink into them for their bad behavior.
I tend to disagree. I think there is a significant difference between a corporation involved in philanthropy as a tax concession and a country that is involved in systemic human rights violations, the murder of its citizens in a foreign country, and the spread of radical religious though that encourages international terrorism.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I’m more suprised with a Islamic government getting involved with a company literally named after a devil!!!

I tend to disagree. I think there is a significant difference between a corporation involved in philanthropy as a tax concession and a country that is involved in systemic human rights violations, the murder of its citizens in a foreign country, and the spread of radical religious though that encourages international terrorism.
Dont forget that its also an important ally of the France, the Uk, the US and other western allies
 

TheSword

Legend
If the editorial tone of the company doesn’t change and I f pressure isn’t exerted to remove or downplay gay or female characters. Then I’m happy for Asmodee to take Saudi money to fund a gay friendly TTRPG company.

Just the same way that I’m happy knowing that the same money that funds Newcastle United is partly funding the United with Pride LGBT support group.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I tend to disagree. I think there is a significant difference between a corporation involved in philanthropy as a tax concession and a country that is involved in systemic human rights violations, the murder of its citizens in a foreign country, and the spread of radical religious though that encourages international terrorism.
You’re forgetting that many of those corporations exploit labor, suppress unions, manipulate governments, and poison the environment.
 

Catolias

Explorer
You’re forgetting that many of those corporations exploit labor, suppress unions, manipulate governments, and poison the environment.
I’m not forgetting that. I sought to draw a distinction between general proposition that unnamed corporations seeking a tax concession were equivalent to the conduct of the Government of Saudi Arabia funding rpgs in attempt to whitewash systemic and horrific conduct—for instance, institutional, religious and state sanctioned misogyny; the murder of Jamal Kashoogi on Turkish soil; the targeting of Yemeni civilians by Saudi Arabia in the current Yemen war; sponsoring Wahhabism in foreign countries that fostered radicalised Islamic terrorism and 9/11.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I’m more suprised with a Islamic government getting involved with a company literally named after a devil!!!

They aren't.

Asmodee's parent got the money. Embracer Group is a holding company that has ten separate subsidiaries, many of which have then have their own subsidiaries as well. It may well be that Asmodee itself sees very little of this money. Indeed, that money may well be for Embracer Group to just make more acquisitions, rather than to fund development in any of the subsidiaries.
 

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