Embracer also picks up Aspyr in latest spending spree.
UPDATE 1.30pm UK: 2K will continue to publish unannounced but inevitable future entries in Gearbox’s Borderlands series, it has said, even though the developer is now part of Embracer.
“As the proud publisher of the Borderlands franchise, we are happy for our partners at Gearbox and this exciting new chapter for their organisation,” the company said. “The merger does not change 2K’s relationship with Gearbox nor our role as the publisher for the Borderlands IP or any other projects we are currently working on with the studio. We look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with this incredibly talented team and delivering many more exciting entertainment experiences to gaming fans around the world.”
ORIGINAL STORY 11.15am UK: Borderlands developer Gearbox has become the latest studio to be bought by Embracer, the enormous umbrella company which in turn owns THQ Nordic, Koch Media and Saber Interactive.
Gearbox owns the rights to the Borderlands franchise, so expect more of that. The studio also owns Brothers in Arms and Homeworld.
The $363m deal includes six-year performance targets for further compensation, up to $1.3bn total. Huh, I wonder if the next six years will include a Borderlands 4 and 5?
All 550 current Gearbox employees will be retained, and controversial CEO Randy Pitchford will continue to lead the studio.
The deal likely means Embracer will handle all Borderlands projects going forward [UPDATE: Or not – see 2K’s statement on it continuing publisher duties above for more]. 2K, which publishes the franchise, shuttered its Australian studio that made spin-off Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel back in 2015.
In other Embracer news, the group also announced a $100m deal to buy Aspyr Media, the US developer that has made a name for itself working on porting big franchises like Borderlands and Star Wars to new platforms. We will watch its career with great interest!
Rounding out today’s Embracer news, the group announced a $640m deal to merge with mobile publisher Easybrain.