Embracer is on track to becoming the Tencent of Scandinavia, having already added THQ Nordic and Koch Media to its portfolio of games studios, and now expanding even further with the acquisition of Gearbox Studios.
Gearbox, the makers of Borderlands, Battleborn, Bulletstorm, Brothers in Arms, and many other games that don’t begin with ‘B’, is run by CEO Randy Pitchford, who will be staying on as boss despite messy lawsuits that allege misuse of company funds and lewd behaviour.
Pitchford issued a very business buzzwordy statement, namechecking Lars Wingefors, the Embracer CEO:
“Lars’s vision of Embracer as an allied partner group committed to fueling and accelerating the ambitions of a series of decentralized, successful entrepreneurial companies while magnifying the collective value and advantages of diversification across the entire group is the most brilliant strategy and design for short, medium, and long-term success in this industry that I have ever encountered in my 30 years in this industry.
The feeling at Gearbox is that we are just getting started and this transaction is not merely a stimulant for the talent of our employee-owned company, but a propellent for the exciting future we have planned.”
Lordy, that’s a long first sentence. According to Kotaku, the purchase price was $363 million (£265.6m), half in cash and half in Embracer shares, plus another $1 billion (£731.8m) promised if Gearbox manages to meet “agreed financial and operational targets in the next six years”.
2K, the publisher behind Gearbox’s Borderlands series, put out a statement to clarify their relationship with Gearbox going forward:
“As the proud publisher of the Borderlands franchise, we are happy for our partners at Gearbox and this exciting new chapter for their organization. The merger does not change 2K’s relationship with Gearbox nor our role as the publisher for the Borderlands IP or any other projects we are currently working on with the studio.
We look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with this incredibly talented team and delivering many more exciting entertainment experiences to gaming fans around the world.”
Are you starting to get worried about all these recent acquisitions? Is this positive news, or a death knell for Gearbox? Let us know in the comments.