Embracer Group acquires Little Nightmares dev Tarsier Studios

Little Nightmares developer Tarsier Studios has been acquired by Embracer Group (formerly known as THQ Nordic AB) for $10.5m (£8m). 

The payment consisted of SEK 88 million (£7.1 million) cash and SEK 11 million (£800K) in newly issued B-shares (thanks, GI.biz). The deal also includes a conditional earn-out for “certain sellers who will remain with Tarsier” payable over ten years. 

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.

All 65 of Tarsier’s staff will transfer to Embracer and the studio will reportedly “remain autonomous”. 

Embracer Group also recently acquired Darksiders developer Gunfire Games for an undisclosed sum. Gunfire, which is currently based in Austin, Texas, will retain its 63 staff and continue to operate with David Adams as CEO. The deal saw Embracer acquire the rights to all IPs, including the studio’s latest title, Remnant: From the Ashes, and Embracer reportedly expects to recoup its investment within four years.

“With the acquisition of Gunfire Games we are strengthening THQ Nordic’s footprint in the US, and are adding an experienced and talented development team that we know very well from having collaborated on Darksiders,” said THQ Nordic CEO Lars Wingefors at the time. “Gunfire will contribute with premier development expertise to the group with realizable synergies from day one. It is with great anticipation of future projects we now welcome the team to the THQ Nordic family.”

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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