Dark Light

Earlier this week, the Borderlands (among others) developer Gearbox Software was acquired by Emracer Group (formerly THQ Nordic and Nordic Games Publishing) for up to $1.3 billion in cash and stock. The studio that can’t stay away from controversy is the latest in line in the acquisition spree by the multimillion giant. What does it mean for Gearbox Software, its CEO Randy Pitchford and its 550 employees? Let’s take a look.

Embracer Group and Gearbox call this newfound relationship a merger above everything else. While the acquisition is valued at 1.3 billion, Gearbox is only getting $188 million in cash and $175 million in stock up front, and will have to meet financial and operational targets in the coming years to earn the rest. CEO Randy Pitchford is confirmed to stay on at his current position at the game development studio and current employees will become Embracer Group shareholders as part of the deal.

According to Mr. Pitchford, this merger is good for gamers because Gearbox will be able to work on more games without worrying about financial support. Gearbox will now be able to take more risks and experiment with its IPs rather than just focus all the manpower on creating Borderlands content. Pitchford told VentureBeat; “we have so many new IP concepts that are in our incubator, that are ready to explode. We could wait for the right publishing partner who’s willing to make a bet, rather than only take a risk on something they know Gearbox has already done before. Those publishers that have taken risks on us for what we want to see next have always been rewarded. But for some reason they can’t be comfortable with that kind of risk. Now we get to take that risk…we don’t have to burn the ships to do it. When Epic made their deal, they ended up selling Gears of War to Microsoft. They burned the ships to show they could do something you would never expect from Epic before, and [los juegos] they got Fortnite out of it. We don’t have to do that. We can fully comply with the IP we have and look for a new IP as a result of this relationship. That is incredibly exciting for me. I feel like this has just begun.”

Pitchford also told VentureBeat that, the deal could mean other Embracer Group-owned studios end up creating games with Gearbox’s intellectual properties. “That can be expanded, especially when we start to interact without friction with other members of the Embracer Group who have an interest. There are many people who would love to work on Gearbox IPs, and Gearbox would love to help some members of the Embracer Group with their games, which could be stronger in other markets and published more effectively in North America. “he continued. Duke Nukem 5 by Flying Wild Hogs- make it happen Randy!

Apparently, Microsoft was eyeing Gearbox long before the Embracer merger. Known Microsoft insider Brad Sams explained on Twitter that “Gearbox was one of the company’s that inspired the original tweet, I believe Microsoft looked at Gearbox but clearly didn’t complete the deal,” Sams wrote. The information was backed up by Windows Central Editor Jez Corden.

When asked what the merger means for the employees of Gearbox, Pitchford had this to say; “I own Gearbox, but so do the employees. Thirty percent of Gearbox is owned by the employees…Gearbox has had the most generous royalty bonus program in the history of the industry. That’s created alignment between every single person that participates in the profitability of our products. But we never imagined trading on the value of the company itself…When we talked to the team about it, it was a party. Generally, the people that are part of Gearbox tend to be quiet. But on social media there were a lot of pictures of folks with champagne glasses and whiskey glasses toasting the moment.”

Now, people following the industry scoop knows that the division of profits in Gearbox may not be as simple as Pitchford says. Regardless, only time will tell how this deal will benefit the people turning the gears at the veteran studio.

Source: VentureBeat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts