Perfect World Entertainment have announced that they’re now known as Gearbox Publishing. Or Gearbox Publishing have announced that they’re no longer Perfect World Entertainment. Same difference. Gearbox Publishing say the change shouldn’t affect anything to do with the ageing live service games they steward, like Star Trek Online and Neverwinter. They’re all part of the Embracer Group, y’see.
Embracer went Christmas shopping in December to buy Perfect World, along with Dark Horse Comics and some other companies. In August they grabbed 3D Realms. They’re still picking up companies too. Just last week Embracer acquired Lost Boys Interactive, which will act as a subsidiary of Gearbox Software. The week before, Embracer picked up Beamdog and their upcoming first original game, the roguelike Mythforce, through subsidiary Aspyr Media.
It’s no understatement to say that Embracer have become one of the largest groups of companies in the industry even if that’s mostly down to owning smaller studios, although they do count Deep Silver, THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive and Gearbox among the group. They even formed a new version of former Timesplitters studio Free Radical back in May last year.
Ed checked out Perfect World’s last game published under their old name, Magic Design Studios' roguelite Have A Nice Death, when it launched in Steam Early Access last month. Calling it a “mash-up between Dead Cells and Hades”, he still came away feeling like he had a “good, if familiar, time”.