In a nutshell: Swedish video game holding firm Embracer Group has acquired Borderlands creator Gearbox Software and Aspyr Media. The two studios will join Embracer’s stable of over 57 developers and publishers, including Saber Interactive, THQ Nordic, Koch Media/Deep Silver, Volition, 4A Games, and more.
Embracer Group announced the Gearbox merger’s one-day purchase price amounted to $363 million, including $175 million in Embracer B shares, with the remainder paid in cash. Gearbox will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary, with founder Randy Pitchford at the helm.
“Gearbox is arguably one of the most creative and valuable independent developers in the world,” said Embracer Group Founder and CEO Lars Wingefors. “We believe that the resources offered by Embracer will position Gearbox for continued significant growth in the years to come.”
In a separate press release, Embracer said it acquired Aspyr Media for $100 million—$60 million in cash and $40 million in B shares. Aspyr will now operate as a “stand-alone entity” under Embracer’s Saber Interactive subsidiary.
Aspyr is best known for producing ports of popular IPs that would not usually see a release on other platforms, such as on macOS, iOS, and Android. Just a few titles under its belt include, Borderlands for Mac, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II for iPhone, and Jade Empire for Android.
Saber CEO Matthew Karch expressed his excitement at the prospect of working with the developers at Aspyr.
“I have been a fan of Aspyr for longer than I have been in the industry. [Aspyr co-founders] Michael [Rogers] and Ted [Staloch] are true entrepreneurs that have built a business by identifying and exploiting opportunity where no one else saw it,” Karch said. “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.”
Both deals have earnings considerations that could mean an extra $1.3 billion to Gearbox over the next six years and $325 million to Aspyr over the next seven, so long as goals are met. The dual mergers should also strengthen Embracer’s portfolio considerably, while accelerating Gearbox’s and Aspyr’s growth.