The Embracer Group, a holding company formerly known as THQ Nordic(not to be confused with the publisher THQ Nordic that Embracer does also own), has made The Gearbox Entertainment Company a deal they can’t refuse: one that’s roughly to the tune of $1.3 billion. Gearbox, a developer and publisher largely known for their work on the Borderlands franchise, now joins Embracer as a subsidiary.
The deal will net Gearbox an immediate influx of capital amounting to $363 million. $175 million of that will be delivered in Embracer shares, while the rest will be tendered as cash.
In a statement attached to the press release announcing the purchase, Lars Wingefors, the Founder and Group CEO of Embracer, calls his newly purchased studio “arguably one of the most creative and valuable independent developers in the world.”
Embracer has made headlines for its purchases before, especially when it started going on what appeared to be the world’s most expensive shopping spree last November, buying 12 developers and a PR firm in a day. In the past, they’ve bought such notable studios as Metro developers 4A Games and Volition of Saints Row fame.
With the purchase of Gearbox, Embracer has now established them as their seventh operating group. The press release notes that Randy Pitchford, the CEO of Gearbox, will remain in his role at the company, and he and his Gearbox employees will become a “significant shareholder in Embracer.”
Pitchford has gotten himself and his company into hot water a number of times in the last few years. A magician by training, the only thing Pitchford seems good at conjuring is new problems for him and his company, like allegedly leaving child pornography on a USB stick at a restaurant or screwing his workers out of bonuses they were promised. The lawsuit that spiraled from the former of these controversies even alleged that Pitchford had pocketed up to $12 million in a bonus meant to aid development of a previous title.
Alongside Gearbox, Embracer has also bought Aspyr Media and Easybrain, the latter of which will begin forming Embracer’s eighth operating group.