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Embracer Group acquires Saber Interactive

Saber Interactive has been acquired by Embracer Group (formerly known as THQ Nordic AB) for $150 million, plus an earn-out consideration of up to $375 million.

The purchase price includes all of the assets of Saber Interactive and related assets, including studios in Russia, Sweden, Belarus, Spain, and Portugal (thanks, Gematsu) and will see the company continue to operate as a “separate division”.

“Saber has been on our radar for a very long time because of their deep history of consistently high-quality work,” said Embracer Group founder and CEO Lars Wingefors in a press release. “Their ambitious moves towards self-funding projects in recent years have been particularly impressive, especially with World War Z, which sold more than three million units. While Saber will remain a standalone company within Embracer Group, we look forward to collaborating with them to elevate their ability to create and market premier titles.”

“Over the course of 19 years as an independent developer, Saber has had its share of suitors,” added Saber Interactive co-founder and CEO Matthew Karch. “With Embracer Group, we’ve at last found the perfect partner. We could not be more thrilled to see through the many projects we’ve dreamed of together.”

Saber Interactive is now Embracer Group’s fifth operating group, and Saber Interactive’s co-founders and owners Matthew Karch and Andrey Iones become Embracer’s co-second-largest shareholders.

Embracer Group also recently acquired Darksiders developer Gunfire Games for an undisclosed sum and Little Nightmares developer Tarsier Studios for $10.5m (£8m). 

All 65 of Tarsier’s staff transferred to Embracer and the studio reportedly “remains autonomous”. Though the acquisition sees the company inherit rights to the Statik IP, the rights to Little Nightmares and Stretchers remain with their owners/publishers, Bandai Namco and Nintendo respectively. Gunfire, which is currently based in Austin, Texas, also retains its 63 staff and continue to operate with David Adams as CEO. 

THQ Nordic AB – the holding company that owns publishers such as Koch Media, Deep Silver, Coffee Stain Holding, and THQ Nordic GmbH – changed its name earlier this year

While the company did not explicitly detail why it’s making the change, it’s thought the rebrand may be to distinguish it from its subsidiary publisher, THQ Nordic GmbH, perhaps following its subsidiary’s decision to host an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on the 8chan website – a site banned from Google for grossly offensive material, including child pornography and hate speech – was almost universally condemned by the industry.  THQ Nordic CEO and co-founder, Lars Wingefors, was forced to give his “sincerest apologies and regret for THQ Nordic’s interaction with the controversial website 8chan”.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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