The Embracer Group, formerly THQ Nordic, is slowly but surely inching closer to the biggest publishers in the gaming industry through its continued acquisitions and mergers.
It all began in earnest in April 2013, when Nordic Games managed to acquire several assets of the bankrupt publisher THQ. A year later, Nordic Games got the THQ trademark as well, and in 2016 it renamed itself into THQ Nordic. Later that year THQ Nordic hosted a successful initial public offering (IPO) and became a public company.
In February 2018, THQ Nordic acquired its first big developer/publisher, Koch Media/Deep Silver. In the ensuing two years, the company went on a veritable acquisition spree that brought into its fold companies like Coffee Stain, Bugbear Entertainment, Warhorse Studios, Piranha Bytes, Gunfire Games, Milestone, Tarsier Studios, Saber Interactive, 4A Games, New World Interactive, 34BigThings, Mad Head Games, Snapshot Games, Zen Studios, and Flying Wild Hog, all the while rebranding as the Embracer Group (while THQ Nordic became the name of one of its operating groups).
Last week, Embracer announced its biggest acquisitions yet, including Aspyr Media, Easybrain, and Gearbox Entertainment. As part of an interview published on GamesIndustry, CEO Lars Wingefors explained that Embracer isn't really about 'catching everything' as it might appear at first glance. Rather, the goal is to find developers and publishers with the right mindset for the 'very long term'.
I think we approach this differently. I think we're having success with getting great entrepreneurs on board, and they're not choosing to join and merge with Embracer because they're getting paid the most.
Embracer is not about catching everything. I want to find entrepreneurs with the right mindset for the very long term. You see in more and more of our deals that it's more of a merger. People are taking a lot of equity. With the Gearbox team, this is a very long-term plan we have together.
Indeed, it's obvious Embracer is executing (so far flawlessly, it would appear) a very long-term strategy. It'll be extremely interesting to see where the group will be in ten years from now.