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Embracer Group lets go of Borderlands maker for $460M after three years

Accepted submission by Freeman at 2024-03-29 13:44:55 from the embrace the suck dept.
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Embracer Group has been backing away from its all-encompassing position in the games industry lately. The latest divestment is Gearbox Entertainment, the studio behind the Borderlands series it bought in early 2021 [] for a deal that could have been worth up to $1.37 billion to Gearbox had it stayed inside the Swedish conglomerate's grasp.

The buyer is Take-Two Interactive Software [], which had previously partnered with Gearbox on publishing Borderlands and other titles. Take-Two will issue new shares of its common stock to pay $460 million for Gearbox, to be completed before the end of June this year. Embracer paid $363 million in cash and stock for Gearbox in 2021 but promised up to $1 billion more should the developer hit earnings goals over six years.
Gearbox has studios in Texas, Montreal, and Quebec City, Canada. The firm had 550 employees at the time of its acquisition, but divisions of the company had seen layoffs in January [].
Embracer had been acquiring properties in 2021 and 2022 with an understanding that a planned $2 billion investment from the Saudi-government-backed Savvy Games Group would give the new mega-conglomerate some runway.
Once the Saudi deal fell through [] in May 2023, however, the firm announced [] that it would undergo a major restructuring through March 2024. That included the shutdown of Volition [] in August 2023 and deep cuts at Eidos that took an unannounced Deus Ex title with them [].

Gearbox and its Borderlands franchise [] were the biggest get, however. The looter-shooter series, struck through with (often exhausting) "edge-y" humor, has reportedly sold more than 77 million copies and earned more than $1 billion in revenue throughout its run, according to Bloomberg []. Take-Two noted that a Borderlands game was "in active development" at Gearbox in its acquisition announcement.

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