Gearbox Software have become the latest company to be snapped up by the monolithic Embracer Group, joining a lineup which includes THQ Nordic, Deep Silver, and Coffee Stain. The Group announced their intent to purchase the Borderlands and Duke Nukem Forever gang in February, and yesterday said the acquisition is now complete. Gearbox say their plans include making new-new games as well as revisiting older worlds in some way.
“Our team is incredibly excited about the opportunity we now have,” Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said. “Far from riding off into the sunset, we are now positioned to launch new IP, do more with our existing brands, grow our base of incredibly talented team members, and capitalise on new opportunities in our mission to entertain the world. This just the start.”
Though “do more with our existing brands” could cover anything from making new sequels to, like, selling Duke Nukem-branded toilet seat covers, so I wouldn’t get too excited just yet.
Embracer are paying $363 million (£260m-ish) in cash and shares for Gearbox, with up to another $1015 million (about £735m) to follow if Gearbox meet certain targets in the years to come. Gearbox are becoming the eighth operative group within Embracer, alongside the likes of THQ Nordic and Deep Silver, so they might have more freedom than many of the companies bought by the arms of Embracer.
Borderlands publishers 2K said in February that this wouldn’t affect their relationship with Gearbox, nor any other projects they were working on with them.
The Group say they have over 7000 employees across all their groups and 60-odd studios. That’s getting close to the scale of Electronic Arts, who had 9800 full-time employees as of March 2020. And it’s pretty chuffing huge for a name barely anyone knows (admittedly that’s partially because this is their third name, after Nordic Games and THQ Nordic). The consolidation of the games industry continues.