It seems that Gearbox is still struggling to find stable footing. Embracer Group, the parent company of THQ Nordic, which acquired the studio just two years ago in 2021, doesn’t appear to be very satisfied with its decision. There are growing voices, including the weight of Reuters, suggesting that Gearbox is not part of the company’s future plans, which could imply its sale in the short or medium term.
The video game industry sometimes presents an unusual picture. In recent years, the acquisitions and sales of major companies have dominated many headlines, especially when we think about the controversial acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Xbox. However, there have been many more, such as the purchase of Gearbox in 2021, which cost Embracer $1.3 billion.
A short-lived acquisition
Considering that this acquisition took place in 2021 and they already want to reverse it, there’s no doubt that this purchase hasn’t been a good decision for the company. The reasons for their loss of interest in Gearbox haven’t been disclosed, but all signs point to their plans to divest the studio being firm.
In fact, even Gearbox itself is considering reshaping its business model to once again become a 100% independent studio, rather than being subject to the decisions of parent companies, as it was in its pre-Embracer days before the 2021 acquisition. This way, the creator of the Borderlands franchise would have greater independence.
The big ones are faltering
Currently, the major studios that dominated previous generations with numerous releases have significantly reduced their franchises and launches. For example, Electronic Arts (EA) has started to focus on fewer games to ensure that the chosen titles have better planning and development. Ubisoft, on the other hand, is going through a disruptive phase, canceling several games before they even reach the release stage and conducting layoffs in many areas of the company.
These are not isolated cases. We’ve also witnessed how Activision completely eliminated its European division in 2021, and this summer, PR and marketing departments at 2K were dissolved, despite their active presence on social media. Many major game companies, in their attempts to replicate the same formula, seem to be neglecting the importance of connecting with their audience, which is a crucial factor for success in today’s industry.