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Embracer Group goes on spending spree – picks up 4A Games for $36m amongst eight acquisitions

Embracer today announces a raft of acquisitions as it continues on an industry-spanning buying spree. Most notable of today’s purchases was 4A Games, creators of the Metro series (for which you can read our retrospective published today), but it also picked up seven more businesses.

These include New World Interactive, Deca Games, Vermila Studios, Rare Earth Games, Palindrome Interactive, Pow Wow Entertainment, and Sola Media.

4A Games and its 150+ staff will become part of the Embracer-owned Saber Interactive, at an approximate cost of $36m, although that’s split between cash and shares and subject to a number of stipulations on performance.

Matt Karch, CEO Saber Interactive, director of the Embracer board noted: “With the acquisition of 4A Games, Saber Interactive is locking-up one of the best indie studios in the industry with the potential and capacity to take on another AAA project and are also internalizing the value of existing and future IPs into the Group. Saber solidifies its position as a leader in the CIS and Ukrainian game developer market.”

And Dean Sharpe, CEO 4A Games added the studio had two immediate plans: “Together we will continue to build on the Metro franchise and will focus on bringing a multiplayer experience to our fanbase. We look forward to building a new and even more ambitious AAA IP in the near future.”

New World Interactive’s 40 staff also move under Saber Interactive’s umbrella. NWI is best known for its Insurgency series of hardcore shooters, which span out of a mod for the Source Engine. It’s planning to expand to nearly 100 people in the near future. No figure was given for the acquisition.

“With the acquisition of 4A Games, Saber Interactive is locking-up one of the best indie studios in the industry”

“NWI is a gamer-centric company that has created great franchises with devoted and loyal fans. With the aid of Saber’s backend technology, NWI will be better positioned to leverage its capabilities for providing games as a service . Saber will also provide resources to bring NWI’s hit titles to new platforms where we expect revenues will greatly increase. We are excited for them to join our growing team of talented developers.” said Matt Karch

DECA is a mobile live game operator, known for acquiring IPs and running them, acquired for an initial fee of €25m.

Ten-strong Vermila Studios is based in Spain, and is working on its first game, a first-person horror title called Crisol: Theater of Idols, for just under €1m initially.

Austrian Rare Earth Games is another smaller acquisition, with the three founders receiving €300,0000 each. The studio is working on Rare Earth’s first game, “a fresh take on online co-op survival action”

Embracer also picked up the remaining 50 per cent of Palindrome games, via its Amplifier Game Invest vehicle for an initial SEK 21.5m (£1.89m). The 14-person studio is about to release Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars, on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. And is working on an unannounced strategy game, signed to Coffee Stain Publishing.
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It also acquired Austria-based Pow Wow Entertainment for an undisclosed sum. The studio currently employs 20 developers, currently working on two unannounced games “of which one on an existing THQ Nordic-owned IP and the other will be a roguelike multiplayer platformer set on a constantly changing world.”

Finally, via Koch Media, the group acquired Sola Media for €2.3m, “a sales agent of international film-and TV-rights, distributing children and family films across the globe.”

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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