Embracer Group Acquires Gearbox, 2K Will Still Publish Borderlands

A whole billion dollars.

Embracer Group, the parent company of THQ Nordic, has acquired a pretty sizable new asset: Gearbox.

The Borderlands developer and Godfall publisher will become Embracer Group’s seventh wholly owned subsidiary as part of a $1.3 billion buyout. It’s not quite Microsoft buying Bethesda numbers (which was around $7.5 billion for the company and all its studios), but that’s still nothing to scoff at. Gearbox joins the likes of Koch Media, Saber Interactive, and of course, THQ Nordic on the list of Embracer Group subsidiaries, and will be using this newfound partnership to expand the teams at both its Quebec studio and the one in its homebase in Texas, as well as form new studios under the Gearbox name.

“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,” said Gearbox founder Randy Pitchford in the announcement. “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.”

Pitchford will continue to lead the studio as Head of Gearbox. Make of that information what you will.

In other news:

As for the future of Borderlands, arguably Gearbox’s most notable franchise, the series will still be published by 2K after the merger, as the company maintains ownership of the IP. A 2K representative said as much in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, which confirms the series’ distribution has been unaffected by the news.

“As the proud publisher of the Borderlands franchise, we are happy for our partners at Gearbox and this exciting new chapter for their organisation,” the company said in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz.

“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.”

Earlier this week, Gearbox shut down Battleborn’s servers, rendering the hero shooter completely unplayable. Which, regardless of your opinion on the game, is a huge shame for all the developers who worked on it.


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