Gearbox Entertainment, the studio behind Borderlands, has been acquired by THQ Nordic parent company Embracer Group for $1.3 billion. The Embracer Group Gearbox acquisition will make the Texas-based studio of 550 another full operating group under Embracer (on an equal level with the likes of THQ Nordic).
As Gearbox merges with Embracer Group, the formerly employee-owned studio will see an injection of capital that will allow the studio to execute its plans for further growth and future development. Randy Pitchford will remain on as head of the company, and is excited at the prospects that the acquisition holds. “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,” he said of the acquisition.
Some of those plans for the future include expanding their talent pool, forming new studios under Gearbox, and potential additional acquisitions and mergers under the Gearbox name, similar to what we’ve seen Embracer Group do with THQ Nordic acquisitions.
Embracer Group sees the merger as giving Gearbox a platform and resources for growth too. “Gearbox is arguably one of the most creative and valuable independent developers in the world,” said Embracer Group founder and CEO Lars Wingefors. “We believe that the resources offered by Embracer will position Gearbox for significant growth in the years to come.”
Gearbox will still retain some level of independence in operations. The acquisition by Embracer Group will not impact the ongoing publishing deals Gearbox has with 2K for the Borderlands franchise. “As the proud publisher of the Borderlands franchise, we are happy for our partners at Gearbox and this exciting new chapter for their organization,” a 2K rep said in a statement. “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.”
Embracer Group announced the Gearbox acquisition and merger alongside 12 other game studio acquisitions and a PR firm. This is just the latest in a whirlwind of acquisitions by the company over the last few years. The corporation’s other groups include THQ Nordic GmbH, Koch Media GmbH/Deep Silver, Amplifier Game Invest, Saber Interactive, Coffee Stain AB, and Deca Games. Embracer is over more than 57 development studios and owns the rights to over 200 franchises, making it one of the largest entities within the video game industry.