Embracer Group reportedly looking to sell Gearbox Studios

Posted on September 12, 2023

Embracer Group, the Swedish gaming conglomerate which purchased Borderlands developer Gearbox Studios back in 2021 for over $1 billion, is reportedly now looking to sell off the studio as part of wider restructuring efforts.

News of the potential sale was reported by Gamesindustry.biz. As per the report, the company is considering selling Gearbox to an interested buyer as part of a “comprehensive” restructuring program announced back in June 2023 by Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors. As part of this program, MX vs ATV Legends developer Rainbow Studios has reportedly already been hit with layoffs. This also follows the recent shuttering of Volition, the Saints Row developer which also belonged to Embracer. In a statement to gamedeveloper.com, Embracer advised that the restructuring plan is set to run until the end of the current fiscal year in March 2024, strongly suggesting more cost-cutting efforts lie in the future.

In an email sent to Gearbox staff seen by Bloomberg, Gearbox Chief Communications Officer Dan Hewitt acknowledged that the developer may not stay under Embracer’s umbrella for long. “The base case is that Gearbox remains a part of Embracer,” he wrote. “However, there are many options under consideration, including Gearbox’s transfer, taking Gearbox independent, and others. Ultimately, we’ll move ahead with whichever path is best for both Gearbox and Embracer.

Gearbox operated as an independent developer prior to its purchase by Embracer Group, having developed the Borderlands series, as well as the less well-received Aliens: Colonial Marines and Battleborn. The studio is seemingly working on more Borderlands titles after Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands exceeded sales expectations. If Embracer Group is indeed seeking to sell the studio, we will likely hear of it in the next few months before the current financial year has concluded.