Borderlands developer Gearbox acquired by THQ Nordic parent company Embracer Group for $1.3 billion [Update]

By Sherif Saed, Wednesday, 3 February 2021 10:38 GMT

Embracer Group has purchased Gearbox.

Embracer and Gearbox Entertainment have announced today that they have entered into an agreement whereby the former will acquire the Borderlands developer for up to $1.3 billion.

On day one, Gearbox will receive $188 million in cash, and $175 million in Embracer B shares, for a total of $363 million. Embracer will also pay a maximum of $1.15 billion (with a maximum $360 million in shares), provided Gearbox meets certain goals over the next six years.

Gearbox has 550 employees at its main office in Frisco, Texas, as well as the satellite team in Quebec City, Canada. The money will allow Gearbox to expand, develop more games, and grow its publishing business in North America. No change in leadership will occur.

Embracer controls six big development groups, including THQ Nordic, Koch Media/Deep Silver, Coffee Stain, Saber Interactive and others. Gearbox will now become the seventh.

“Lars [Wingefors]’s vision of Embracer as an allied partner group committed to fueling and accelerating the ambitions of a series of decentralized, successful entrepreneurial member companies while magnifying the collective value and advantages of diversification across the entire group is the most brilliant strategy and design for short, medium, and long-term success in this industry that I have worked in during 30 years,” said Gearbox founder and head Randy Pitchford.

Update: After the news was announced, Gearbox clarified that even with the merger, it still owns the Borderlands IP and will continue to work with 2K Games on the franchise.

“We have a relationship with 2K where we have agreed on certain rights for exploitation of the IP,” said Pitchford. “The ownership of the IP is clear. The IP is our IP.”

2K Games also clarified to VG247 that its relationship with Gearbox is unaffected.

“As the proud publisher of the Borderlands franchise, we are happy for our partners at Gearbox and this exciting new chapter for their organization,” said a 2K spokesperson.

“The merger does not change 2K’s relationship with Gearbox nor our role as the publisher for the Borderlands IP or any other projects we are currently working on with the studio. We look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with this incredibly talented team and delivering many more exciting entertainment experiences to gaming fans around the world.”

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