Meet the largest game publisher you have never heard of

As the largest companies opened their checkbooks and swallowed their competitors, the gaming industry prospered and shrank at the same time. Microsoft, Nintendo with Electronics art Recently, they have spent a lot of money to buy well-known names in the development and publishing world. Even large publishers like ZeniMax are not immune to the large amount of cash currently invested in the industry. This is what makes Embracer’s story more interesting, because it is acquiring a large number of game developers, trying to create something that no other company can swallow.

Embracer was founded in 2008 by Swedish entrepreneur Lars Wingefors, who previously founded the brick-and-mortar game retailer Nordic Games. As we all know, Nordic Games Publishing published its first game and made a small and clean sum in the process. In 2011, it acquired the assets of Austrian publisher JoWooD Entertainment after bankruptcy. In 2013, it did the same thing with THQ when applying for Chapter 11, purchased some assets, and renamed itself THQ Nordic a year later. Then it went public and raised several consecutive rounds of cash from investors to help it acquire more companies to put it under its umbrella.

In 2018, THQ Nordic acquired Koch Media, an entertainment company that owns Deep Silver and other media rights. Later that year, it acquired Coffee Stain Studios and promised to operate Deep Silver and Coffee Stain as independent companies. But it wasn’t until 2019 when THQ Nordic (parent company) renamed itself Embracer that the company’s wild tram sprint really began. Since mid-2019, Embracer has purchased or invested in nearly 30 different developers and publishers.

War horse

Compared with the figures thrown by Microsoft, most of these transactions are very small. Tarsier Studios was acquired in December 2019 for 10.5 million U.S. dollars, and DECA Games was priced at 25 million euros (30.4 million U.S. dollars).However, it made some more important purchases, including Saber interaction 525 million U.S. dollars, the most notable is Gearbox Software’s 1.3 billion U.S. dollars.In fact, in February 2021, the company Gearbox, Easybrain and Aspyr.

On its company website, Embracer boasted that it has eight “operations groups”, including THQ Nordic (publisher), Koch Media, and Coffee Stain. Joining the list are Amplifier (invested in game startups), Sabre Interactive (ported and remade), DECA (mobile games), Easy brain (Puzzle game) and GearboxIt added that throughout the company, it has 69 development studios in 40 countries and more than 7,000 employees.

However, more important than the business owned by Embracer is the intellectual property and franchise rights it now controls. This list reads as a Who’s Who of the beloved old games that were either cancelled due to the failure of the parent company or had a small but dedicated audience. Embracer claims that it now controls (takes a deep breath) Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Metro, TimeSplitters, Borderlands, Darksiders, MX vs ATV, Kings of Amalur, Satisfactory, Wreckfest, Insurance and World War Z.And, for franchising and TimeSplitters, Embracer also hopes to pass New title from the creator of the gameIn addition, Coffee Stain announced Wallheim, Currently a very popular game from Iron Gate Studio.

Franchise image from Saints Row

Deep Silver

At E3 this year, Koch Media, a subsidiary of Embracer, announced the launch of a new label called “Premium Gaming” Prime number. As part of it Summer Game Festival Announcement, Prime Matter revealed that it is developing the following games: Payday 3, Firefight: Legion (The new RTS comes from Homestead 3 with Hard Space: Shipbreaker Manufacturer BlackBird Interactive), a new painkiller game and King’s Gift 2. It also announced a large number of new games, including Scar on top, Final form of code name, Dolmen, The Last Olekru with Echoes of Doom, Among others.

Embracer’s strategy seems to be focused on absorbing as many mid-range franchises as possible and winning through numbers. Founder Lars Wingefors has stated that he prefers smaller and messier things rather than building a company linked to a single AAA franchise.In the 2018 interview Game industryHe said that his strategy is to focus on “diversified channels” to “slowly build some substantial content that can last for a long time.”

In the same interview, Wingefors also explained that this “more is more” approach will also permeate the way companies operate. He explained that Embracer did not want to create a single, single business, which, in his words, would “destroy a lot of value.”Instead, he wants every company to be like “brothers and sisters, but […] Run your own business completely. “

Home world

Blackbird Interactive

You might think that after spending so much money last year, Embracer now wants to slow down and digest the meal.The company seems to disagree, and in the most recent Financial Statements Said it brought up another US$890 million To promote further purchases. In fact, it stated that it has approximately US$2 billion in “cash and available credit lines” to support its frenzied consumption. Developers are also interested in joining the organization. The company stated that it has “contacted more than 150 companies to join the organization” and currently 20 companies are in the “late negotiation” stage.

One thing Embracer emphasized in several of its public statements is that these investments will take time to pay off.In 2019, it Say “The development cycle of new games lasts for several years, so the contribution of these investments will be generated in a few years.” Moreover, in its most recent report, it stated that it expects to see the first of these purchases arrive in fiscal year 2022. The first fiscal year of the audience. Only then can we see whether Embracer has the best remaining strategy is a successful strategy.

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