Embracer Group sale of Borderlands studio Gearbox reportedly in «late stages» of finalisation


Following reports last year that Embracer Group was considering selling Borderlands studio Gearbox as part of its ongoing «comprehensive restructuring programme», it’s now being claimed a sale to a third party is in the «late stages» of being finalised.

That’s according to Kotaku, which says Gearbox CEO and co-founder Randy Pitchford had previously told staff the studio was facing one of three possible scenarios: it would either stay with Embracer, be sold, or would finance a buyout and become independent once more. However, Pitchford reportedly shared an update with employees earlier this week, saying a decision had been made — and that decision, according to Kotaku’s sources, was to sell.

The publication understands Gearbox’s sale to an unnamed buyer is currently in the «late stages of being finalised», and while Embracer Group — which purchased Gearbox for $363m in 2021 — did not respond to Kotaku’s requests for comment, Pitchford deflected the website’s inquiries, saying, «We will be thrilled to share whenever we have projects to announce or news to share as we work hard towards our mission to entertain the world.»

Cover image for YouTube videoNewscast: Why are there so many games industry layoffs?

Newscast: Why are there so many video game industry layoffs?

Reports of Gearbox’s impending sale follows word from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier that Embracer Group is set to sell World War Z and Snowrunner publishing group Saber Interactive in a deal worth up to $500m — less than the $525m it paid for the company in 2020.

These two sales, if they go ahead as reported, will be the latest steps in the devastating «restructuring» programme Embracer initiated last year after the collapse of a $2bn «major strategic partnership» in May. Since then, Embracer has laid off eight percent of its workforce — a total of 1,387 employees — while shutting down a number of its high-profile studios, including Free Radical, which was working on now-canceled new instalment in the beloved TimeSplitters series, and Saints Row developer Volition. Embracer recently told investors its restructuring programme had reached «mature stages».


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