Embracer Group, named for the wonderful hugs they give, have announced the acquisition of several development studios under their various subsidiaries. They now own 3D Realms, who, despite operating largely as a publisher nowadays, will forever be linked to Duke Nukem. This means that Embracer now owns both 3D Realms and Duke Nukem’s owners, Gearbox, who they acquired earlier this year. Can you see where this is heading?
It’s the first time Duke’s dad and step-dads have been in the same room since 2014. Duke Nukem Forever spent 15 years in development at 3D Realms before Gearbox bought the IP and worked with them to release it in 2011. 3D Realms were then themselves purchased in 2014 by Interceptor Entertainment. They tried to revive Duke there, until Gearbox politely reminded them that they still own the IP, leaving them Duke-free. They’ve since taken up the role of publishers to a number of retro-themed titles, like Ion Fury and Kingpin: Reloaded. But names matter. I hear the name “3D Realms” and I think of Duke Nukem. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a long-term goal in mind for them to team up again.
3D Realms now becomes part of Saber Interactive. Andrey Iones, Co-founder Saber Interactive, said: “We have a deep appreciation for 3D Realms’ heritage and look forward to seeing them enter a new era and thrive.” Interestingly, that’s a line lifted directly from the Duke Nukem Forever 2 script*.
Saber also swallowed up Graven developers Slipgate Ironworks. Other relevant purchases include Ghost Ship Games, the makers of Deep Rock Galactic, who now become part of Coffee Stain Studios. Road 96 developers DigixArt were bought and folded into Koch Media. That brings the number of studios they own to over 70. Their Christmas parties must cost an absolute fortune.
*A big stinky lie.