Embracer Group acquires specialist porting house Aspyr Media for a potential $450m

While it may not have the wow factor of the Gearbox acquisition, Embracer this morning, via its Saber Interactive subsidiary made another significant deal, this time picking up Aspyr Media in a deal worth up to $450m.

Aspyr Media becomes the largely euro-centric broader group’s third US concern, alongside Gearbox and Gunfire Games. Aspyr is based in development hotspot Austin, Texas. The studio started out specialising in Mac ports for an array of the biggest IPs and moved onto mobile ports and porting to all console platforms.

Its work to date is wide-ranging then, including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to iOS, Borderlands and Call of Duty titles to Mac OS X, and more recently Civilization VI to Nintendo Switch among others.

Notably it’s the second developer that had strong business ties with 2K and Take Two that Embracer has acquired today. Both of which, strategically look to have been good options for Take Two to acquire itself, especially after missing out on Codemasters to EA (although obviously these things are in the works for a long time).

With over 70 employees, Aspyr provides not only a strong ongoing business, but also a very useful service for the rest of the group, porting titles from its other developers.

“I have been a fan of Aspyr for longer than I have been in the industry. Michael and Ted are true entrepreneurs that have built a business by identifying and exploiting opportunity where no one else saw it. They are a perfect fit for Embracer and I am proud to now call them partners. Together we will be able to greatly expand our development and publishing activities here in the US. Stay tuned for details on some of the amazing games we have under joint development. Today is a truly amazing day for Saber and the entire Group” says Matthew Karch, CEO Saber Interactive and Director of the Embracer Board.

Alongside Aspyr, Embracer also announced a $765m deal to acquire mobile developer Easybrain. The Cyprus and Minsk-based developer specialises in puzzle games with advertising-based revenue streams and has topped 750m installs to date with 12m active daily users. It has a staff of 230 employees. 

“I am excited to welcome Peter, Matvey, Oleg and the entire Easybrain team to the Embracer family. Easybrain is a highly diversified growth business with a market leading position in timeless puzzle and logic games. They are an extremely experienced and process driven team with a superior tech platform and world class UA capabilities. Easybrain has repeatedly demonstrated the capability to develop, scale globally, and operate category leading puzzle and logic games. By joining forces with Easybrain, we have meaningfully accelerated Embracer’s mobile and free-to-play business” says Lars Wingefors, Co-founder and Group CEO of Embracer Group


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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