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Saber Interactive splits from Embracer, taking 3D Realms, Slipgate, Metro devs and more with them

Embracer will also cease all operations in Russia

Lieutenant Titus poses ready for violence in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 artwork.
Image credit: Focus Entertainment

Saber Interactive have parted ways with Embracer Group, buying back the rights to both themselves and numerous other studios in a deal initially valued at $247 million. The deal includes 38 ongoing game development projects plus the rights to 3D Realms, Slipgate Ironworks, New World Interactive, Nimble Giant, Mad Head, Digic, Fractured Byte and PR agency Sandbox Strategies, as well as Metro developers 4A Games and Pinball FX maker Zen Studios via options.

In Embracer's press release to investors this morning, they name Beacon Interactive as the buyer in question, which is a new company founded and controlled by Saber Interactive's co-founder Matthew Karch. As a result of the sale, Embracer will also cease all operations in Russia, which they say is "a win-win solution for Embracer and the parts of Saber that now will leave us".

"This is the first transaction of the previously mentioned structured processes and marks a small but important step in our journey to transform Embracer into the future for the benefit of all employees, gamers, and shareholders," said Embracer boss Lars Wingefors. Ah, yes, those all-important shareholders, can't forget them.

Embracer will retain control of Tripwire, Beamdog, Aspyr, Tuxedo Labs, Demiurge, Shiver, Snapshot Games and 34BigThings, as well as 14 games currently in the pipeline. This includes the next AAA game from Metro makers 4A Games, Killing Floor 3 and Teardown, as well as many other unannounced AAA and AA projects in development at the aforementioned studios.

Embracer will also keep "long-term license and publishing rights to all current and future PC/console games in the Metro franchise" under their existing relationship with publishers Plaion (who are also owned by Embracer), and "these rights will not change regardless of whether the option rights are exercised," they said.

According to Bloomberg, the true value of the deal is likely closer to $500 million, once you take into account 4A and Zen's options and all the associated liabilities. Whichever way you look at it, though, it's still short of what Embracer originally paid for them back in 2020, which came to $525 million.

Just last month, Embracer announced a swathe of ongoing restructuring projects to combat their ballooning debt and massive overspending during recent years, resulting in the layoffs of hundreds of game developers across the globe. Here's hoping that Beacon Interactive will provide a touch more stability for all involved.

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