Embattled publisher Embracer sells off Saber assets, withdraws from Russia

Troubled Video Game Publisher Embracer Sells Assets to Beacon Interactive for $247m

In a recent financial call, Embracer announced the sale of large portions of Saber Interactive to Beacon Interactive for $247m. This move will result in Embracer ceasing all operations in Russia, aiming to reduce its geopolitical risk. Notably, Beacon Interactive is led by Saber Interactive co-founder Matthew Karch. Karch will now oversee Saber’s studios independently from Embracer but will remain a significant long-term shareholder of Embracer, collaborating on various ongoing and future projects.

Studio Changes and Future Projects

The sale includes the transfer of all Saber Interactive-branded studios, as well as New World Interactive, Nimble Giant Entertainment, 3D Realms, Slipgate Ironworks, Mad Head Games, Fractured Byte, and Sandbox Strategies. Embracer will keep Aspyr, TripWire, Beamdog, Tuxedo Labs, Demiurge, Shiver, Snapshot Games, and 34 Big Things. Additionally, it will maintain partnerships with 4A Games and Zen Studios, although Saber has the option to acquire them in the future.

Upcoming Game Releases

Embracer’s future lineup includes four forthcoming “AAA” games, the next project from Metro developer 4A Games, various “AA” titles from Asmodee and 34 Big Things, Killing Floor 3, as well as upcoming releases and the existing catalog of Zen Studios, Aspyr, and Tripwire.

Debt Reduction and Restructuring

This sale will enable Embracer to reduce its debt by 2.1bn Swedish kroner, approximately £160m. Following a period of significant acquisitions, Embracer has undergone restructuring by parting ways with numerous staff and development studios due to financial challenges that arose after a major $2bn investment deal fell through.

To date, Embracer has downsized its workforce by eight percent, amounting to 1387 job cuts, and closed several prominent studios, such as Free Radical and Volition. Discussions are also underway for Embracer to sell off Gearbox, the studio behind the Borderlands franchise.