Who is the Embracing Group? Everything you need to know about the Massive Game Company

You’ve probably heard of some of the biggest third-party game publishers, like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Capcom, but there’s another company that’s been expanding rapidly through a series of acquisitions: Embracer Group, which just bought a series of Square Enix’s studios and IP (including Tomb Raider maker Crystal Dynamics and Deus Ex’s Eidos Montreal). The video game company, in terms of market value, is now the largest in Europe. But what is the Embracer Group, what studios and franchises does it own, and how did it become such a huge company with so little name recognition?

What is the Embracing Group?

hugging group
hugging group

Let’s get this sorted out first: The reason you might not recognize the Embracer Group name is that it operates several other publishers and developers with names you recognize. Right now, Embracer Group is the parent company of major publishers like Deep Silver, THQ Nordic, and Gearbox, to name a few, as well as over 100 game studios. The company was formerly known as THQ Nordic, but has adopted its current name to avoid confusion after its many acquisitions.

The Embracer Group, when it was known as Nordic Games, was a very small operation that mainly focused on finding holes in the market that it could capitalize on, such as the lack of karaoke games on Nintendo systems in the late 2000s. After acquiring smaller and slowly growing properties while keeping costs low has entered a sort of “phase 2”.

The Embracer Group has grown enormously in recent years, often buying up studios and franchise rights from other companies that are either putting them inactive or liquidating because of bankruptcy. That’s how the company came to own much of THQ’s original back catalogue, including the Metro and Darksiders series. It also ended up acquiring the THQ name itself, with the Nordic publishing brand becoming THQ Nordic.

After its most recent transactions, Embracer will have more than 14,000 employees – most of whom are game developers – and 124 different studios. Below, we’ve listed some of Embracer’s prominent studios, detailing the publisher they are aligned with within the company.

Abraçar Group Studios

Exodus subway
Exodus subway

The Embracer Group operates over 100 different game studios under various publishing brands. Embracer does not appear to have a comprehensive guideline for the different brands, apparently allowing them to operate with relative autonomy once acquired. Additionally, companies with existing relationships with other publishers still maintain them, such as Gearbox, continuing to work with Take-Two on the Borderlands series. Crystal Dynamics will also continue to co-develop the Perfect Dark reboot for Microsoft, which it started working on as a subsidiary of Square Enix.

THQ Nordic

  • Experiment 101 (Biomutant)
  • Piranha Bytes (Elex)
  • Shooters (Darksiders, Remnant: From The Ashes)
  • Black Forest Games (Destroy All Humans)
  • Grimlore Games (Spellforce)
  • Rainbow Studios (MX x ATV)

deep silver

  • Volition (Santos Row)
  • Deep Silver Dambuster Studios (Homefront: The Revolution)
  • Free Radical Design (TimeSplitters)
  • Deep Silver Fishlabs (Chorus)

interactive knowing

  • 4A Games (Subway)
  • Aspyr (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake)
  • 3D Realms (Duke Nukem)
  • Slipgate Ironworks (Ghostrunner)
  • Instant Games (Phoenix Point)
  • Zen Studios (Pinball FX)

Gearbox entertainment

  • Gearbox Software (Borderlands, Brothers in Arms)
  • Cryptic Studios (Star Trek Online, Neverwinter)

Tentative Embracer Group Studios

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider

In addition to the aforementioned group of studios, the Embracer Group has also agreed to purchase several other studios and franchises from Square Enix. This deal has yet to be officially closed, but the studios below will be part of Embracer in the event that it happens. The deal will also include several IPs, including big-name franchises like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex.

  • Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider, Marvel’s Avengers)
  • Eidos-Montreal (Deus Ex, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Square Enix Montreal (Deu Ex, Lara Croft and Hitman mobile games)

The future of the Abraçar Group

The Embracer group shows no signs of slowing its growth, with plans to, well, “embrace” even more companies in the future. The company said this, with CEO Lars Wingefords telling the Financial Times (via VGC) that Embracer wants to invest in US, UK and Poland-based companies alongside Chinese and French companies. Not all of his purchases were strictly video game related, as Asmodee makes tabletop and board games and Dark Horse Media makes comic books, television shows, and movies.

The company has already released sequels to series that have since died, such as Darksiders III and Darksiders Genesis. It has also focused heavily on remastered versions of games for which it now has intellectual property rights, including Red Faction, Destroy All Humans, and Kingdoms of Amalur, with plans for several more of these remastered games in the future. Based on their IP catalog, potential future games could include Second Sight or Deus Ex.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.