Borderlands Collection: Pandora’s Box
Image via Gearbox

Take-Two is buying Gearbox from Embracer, next Borderlands is in development

Even more divestment for Embracer Group.

Embracer Group is cutting down even more and separating itself from Gearbox. Now, the Borderlands creator will have a new home with Take-Two Entertainment. 

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Embracer has announced that it’s officially selling Gearbox Entertainment, which includes Gearbox Software, Gearbox Montreal, and Gearbox Studio Quebec, as well as franchises like Borderlands and Risk of Rain. It will retain a few pieces, however; namely, Gearbox Publishing San Francisco, Lost Boys Interactive, Cryptic Studios, and Captured Dimensions. Embracer will also retain publishing rights for the Remnant series, Hyper Light Breaker, and some other unannounced games.

In a press release, Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors wrote, “Through the transaction [with Take-Two], we lower business risk and improve profitability as we transition to becoming a leaner and more focused company.”

That transition has been in the works for quite some time and is expected to be finished by the end of the first fiscal quarter this June. Embracer Group has made dramatic cuts over the past year. From March to December 2023 it let go of 8% of its workforce, and the slew of layoffs caused game cancellations and even closed entire studios.

With that as a backdrop, it’s not surprising that Embracer Group is divesting from Gearbox, especially since Take-Two is expected to pay $460 million for the studio. It’s a different tone, though, from 2021, when Embracer paid $363M up-front and potentially much, much more in performance targets for the studio.

This particular transaction may not lead to as much collateral damage for the sold company as some of Embracer Group’s other recent moves. In that same press release, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford reassured fans that in his view, this is a good move for the studio as well. “My primary interest is always Gearbox, especially our talent and our customers. I want to personally assure fans of our games that this arrangement will ensure that the experiences we have in development at Gearbox will be the best they can possibly be.” 

According to a Take-Two release, there are quite a few of those experiences in varying stages of development. Gearbox is currently working on six new projects. One of them is part of a brand-new IP, but the rest are sequels. Specifically, Gearbox is apparently working on another Borderlands game. 

Of course, there’s no guarantee that this deal won’t lead to some amount of layoffs at Gearbox, but we can hope. 2023 was a particularly brutal year for the industry, with around 9,000 layoffs hitting studios of every size. This year’s already gotten off to a rocky start, with layoffs affecting Supermassive Games and leading to a canceled Star Wars project at EA, among so many other hits.


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Author
Gabran Gray
Contributing Writer - Gabran has been an avid gamer since he was old enough to manipulate a keyboard and mouse. He's been writing professionally and covering all things video games since 2021.