Gearbox Studios acquired by Take-Two Interactive for $460 million

Posted on March 30, 2024

Rumours which initially spread last year that Embracer Group was looking to sell Borderlands developer Gearbox Studios have now been confirmed. Embracer, the Swedish mega-conglomerate which has been on a spending spree over the last few years buying up gaming studios and famous intellectual property, will sell Gearbox to Take-Two Interactive in the financial year 2025 for USD$460 million. This is notably less than half of the around USD$1.3 billion Embracer originally spent to purchase the company back in 2021.

In an official announcement on Business Wire, it is confirmed that Take-Two Interactive “has entered into a definitive agreement with Embracer Group to acquire The Gearbox Entertainment Company“. As part of the deal, Take-Two will acquire Gearbox’s portfolio of intellectual property, including Borderlands and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, of course, as well as other properties under its umbrella. These include Homeworld, Risk of Rain, Brothers in Arms, Duke Nukem, as well as anything else that Gearbox is currently developing. The deal apparently will not include certain third-party publishing and other assets that were deemed “non-core” to the business.

Our acquisition of Gearbox is an exciting moment for Take-Two and will strengthen our industry-leading creative talent and portfolio of owned intellectual property, including the iconic Borderlands franchise,” Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two, has stated.This combination enhances the financial profile of our existing projects with Gearbox and unlocks the opportunity for us to drive increased long-term growth by leveraging the full resources of Take-Two across all of Gearbox’s exciting initiatives.

Unfortunately, the acquisition has not exactly been a smooth process so far for many within Gearbox. Mere hours after the merger was announced, Gearbox reportedly began a round of layoffs at the studio. That said, considering the recent fates of some studios within Embracer, such as Saints Row developer Volition, it is hard to say if Gearbox would have been any safer remaining with its original owner. Considering the enormous loss that Embracer sold Gearbox for in order to divest itself of the studio’s expenses, it is likely that we will see more sales or studio closures from Embracer in the near future. Furthermore, Gearbox and Take-Two’s existing close relationship, with Take-Two having published all of the Borderlands games, at least makes this acquisition a somewhat sensible one.

At any rate, the press release announcing the acquisition confirms that the studio is working on “six key interactive entertainment projects“. Of these, two are confirmed to be sequels to the Borderlands and Homeworld franchises. Hopefully this acquisition will proceed with minimal disruption for the workers at Gearbox Studios as the merger proceeds into the next financial year.