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Embracer shut down Alone In The Dark rebooters Pieces Interactive, creators of Magicka and Titan Quest DLCs

"Thanks for playing with us"

Jodie Comer and David Harbour strike a post in artwork for Alone In The Dark
Image credit: THQ Nordic

The perpetually scarlet-faced and jovially maladroit folk of Embracer have done their usual vaudeville comedy routine of spinning around with negative-dollar signs in their eyes and trampling on another game development studio - in this case, Pieces Interactive, creators of the recent Alone In The Dark reboot. The Swedish studio's website is now a tombstone, bearing the dates 2007-2024. Oopsy-daisy!

Pieces were acquired by Embracer in 2017 as part of a decade-long acquisition binge which came to a rude halt in early 2023, when the reported collapse of a multiple-billion dollar Savvy Games investment deal obliged Embracer to cut their operations to the bone. In the past financial year, Embracer have given over 4500 employees the chop, closed 44 studios - including Volition and Free Radical - and binned off 80 projects. Among the subsidiary organisations that have survived the cuts are Gearbox, which Embracer have flogged to Take-Two, and Saber Interactive, which Embracer have sold to a new company launched by a few of Saber's original founders.

In late March, Embracer grandly announced that they were done throwing studios into the sacrificial volcano, but evidently, there's always room for one more. In late April, Embracer revealed plans to divide their remaining tabletop gaming, free-to-play and premium video game businesses into three smaller organisations that are focused on specific markets and platforms and which, crucially, do not have the word "Embracer" in the title - all presided over by the investment firm run by Embracer CEO and cofounder Lars Wingefors.

Nu-Alone In The Dark aside, Pieces were the creators of Puzzlegeddon, Fret Nice, Leviathan Warships, Robo Surf and Kill to Collect across PC, console and mobile. They also worked for hire on several Magicka DLCs and Magicka 2, together with Titan Quest expansions Ragnarök and Atlantis. I wasn't that familiar with their work before writing this, sadly, but I will always raise a flagon of goodwill to anybody who's done anything Magicka-related. Here's hoping all those affected by the closure find their feet.

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