Not only did Embracer Group buy Borderlands devs Gearbox today, they also picked up Aspyr Media. Aspyr are mostly known for making Mac and Linux ports of other folks’ Windows games, with a catalogue including Civilization VI and Borderlands, though they are getting into making their own games too. Sounds like they’ll keep on keeping now they’re part of Embracer.
Aspyr started out licensing games to make Mac ports, then later got into Linux, consoles, and pocket telephones too. They’ve recently got into publishing, putting out Layer Of Fear, and are now straight-up making their own games as well. No word yet on exactly what they’re doing.
Embracer say they’re paying $100 million (£82m) in cash and shares up front for Aspyr, with up to another $350m (£287m) potentially to follow if they meet certain conditions over the coming years.
Formerly known as THQ Nordic AB and Nordic Games before that, Embracer are a sprawling web of developers and publishers split across several groups. which include the likes of THQ Nordic and Deep Silver. All in all, they own 60-odd development studios now. Aspyr are joining under 2020 purchase Saber Interactive, who also hold Metro devs 4A Games, Insurgency studio New World Interactive, and Pinball FX gang Zen Studios.
Saber and Aspyr seem a reasonable pairing. Saber often make licensed games themselves, including the World War Z game and recently-announced Evil Dead, as do lots of the other studios under them in Embracer. Saber have also dabbled in porting, including bringing The Witcher 3 to Nintendo Switch. A lot of common interests and fruitful relationships. Sounds like Aspyr will be supporting Saber while continuing doing their thing, now with the benefits of more resources and easy access to other games from Embracer Group.
“One thing we can say is we know that the best way to make games, and the least risky path towards success, is to have a wide portfolio of products on a wide portfolio of platforms, and this is just all about that,” Saber CEO Matthew Karch said in a press conference today.
Embracer also announced today they’ve bought free-to-play mobile studio Easybrain, but that’s not PC so let’s just skip over ’em.
The consolidation of the games industry continues apace.