Embracer Group is considering a sale of Gearbox Entertainment, the developer best known for their Borderlands series. The news comes in a Reuters report saying the Swedish media company is looking into a sale “after receiving interest from third parties.”
This comes about a week after news that Volition (makers of Saints Row, Red Faction) closed its doors following a restructuring program at Embracer. Part of that statement reads:
“This past June, Embracer group announced a restructuring program to strengthen Emrbacer and maintain its position as a leader in the video game industry. As part of that program, they evaluated strategic and operational goals and made the difficult decision to close Volition effective immediately.”
Another studio, Campfire Cabal, was shuttered in early August.
As for Volition’s IP (Saints Row, Red Faction)? Deep Silver (part of Embracer) says both franchises “will live on.”
The potential Gearbox sale and the Volition closure follow a huge deal falling through for Embracer in May. Last month, Axios reported that Saudi-owned Savvy Games Group backed out of a $2 billion deal in May that would have helped Embracer develop and publish games for years to come. Now, Embracer Group is in restructuring mode.
Gearbox shouldn’t have a problem getting scooped up for the right price. Borderlands is still a hugely popular franchise. Their publishing arm has also seen some recent hits with Risk of Rain 2 and Remnant II. There’s also next year’s Homeworld 3 that has plenty of strategy fans excited.
Embracer’s restructuring program is ongoing as of an August 17 press release. It reads in part:
“Initial actions have been taken on closure and other initiatives to reduce the number of projects and studios and overhead savings initiatives have been defined in co-ordination with the Operative Groups. In addition, we have set a high priority on increasing external funding of certain larger projects and potential divestment opportunities.”
“With a series of initial actions now taken, we expect further savings after the completion of a global review of the existing pipeline, which is currently ongoing. This review will guide our capital allocation to optimize return on investment.”