One of the largest game development studios in Texas, Borderlands developer Gearbox Entertainment, is now an official subsidiary of the Embracer Group. The previously announced sale, which is valued at up to 1.3 billion dollars, has officially closed, the two companies said in a press release on Tuesday.
Gearbox is just the latest high-profile studio that Embracer has acquired in recent years, and was among others Valheim publishing house Coffee Stain and Saints Row studio Deep Silver. Embracer also owns THQ Nordic. In total, Embracer now reports having 63 in-house game development studios with more than 7,000 employees globally in 40 countries.
In the press release, Embracer said that Gearbox is now better prepared for “rapid growth”
“Our team is incredibly excited about the opportunity we now have,” said Gearbox CEO and founder Randy Pitchford. “Far from riding into the sunset, we are now positioned to launch new IPs, do more with our existing brands, grow our base of incredibly talented team members and seize new opportunities in our mission to entertain the world. This is just the beginning. “
Gearbox has 550 employees across offices in Frisco, Texas and Quebec City. The studio is best known for the Borderlands series, but it has also worked with a number of other big name franchises such as Half-Life, Tony Hawks Pro Skater, James Bond, Counter-Strike and Halo. The company started a publishing division in 2015 and has released titles such as Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, We Happy Few, and the PS5 launch title Godfall. Not all Gearbox games have been as successful as Borderlands, as the MOBA-style game Battleborn did not find an audience, and the servers have since gone dark. In addition, Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines was not very well received.
Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors said in a statement that the acquisition of Gearbox is the largest buyout in the company’s history. “We are confident of Gearbox’s long-term future in the Embracer Group.”
The deal is worth up to $ 1.3 billion, but most of it depends on the Gearbox reaching certain milestones for performance. Gearbox received $ 188 million in cash up front, with additional prepayments that net the company $ 363 million on day one of the deal. Gearbox can earn many millions more if the company reaches certain milestones, and then another $ 715 million after that in anticipation of other important milestones. You can see the full terms of the acquisition in GameSpot’s previous coverage.
Embracer’s acquisition of Gearbox is just the latest example of high-profile consolidations in the gaming industry. In March, Microsoft completed its $ 7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax and its subsidiaries, including Bethesda. It was the second largest game acquisition in history, just following Tencent’s $ 8.6 billion dollars by Clash of Clans developer Supercell many years ago.
The next time for Borderlands is Borderlands 3: Director’s Cut, which will be released on April 8 after a delay. A Borderlands movie is also in the works with some big name talent behind it. Just recently, a seven-foot Dutch bodybuilder from Marvel’s Black Widow joined the cast.
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