Saber Interactive may escape Embracer’s death hug and become a private company

Saber Interactive has found a way out of its parent company’s death grip. Embracer Group AB. Bloomberg informed On Thursday, “a group of private investors” will buy the studio in a deal worth about $500 million. Saber would later become a privately held company with about 3,500 employees.

Engadget emailed a Saber spokesperson for confirmation on the alleged purchase. The studio declined to comment.

The alleged deal would be one of Embracer’s most significant cost-cutting moves since then A $2 billion contract bust with a group backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Some have criticized the dodgy deal as the gaming equivalent of “sports laundering,” using celebrity sports buyouts and partnerships to boost the global image of embattled governments. This followed US intelligence result that the Saudi regime was killed The Washington Post Journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the end of 2018.

Embracer’s other cost-cutting moves include laying off about 900 employees in September, and cutting about 50 more jobs. Choir developer Fishlabs and more layoffs Tiny Tina’s Wonderland developer Lost Boys Interactive, Beamdog, Crystal Dynamics and Saber subsidiary New World Interactive. The hugger too Closed Saints Row studio Volition Games and the Campfire Cabal.

Still from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.  Two people and a droid stand on a bridge in a very Star Wars setting.  Buildings, ships, towers.Still from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.  Two people and a droid stand on a bridge in a very Star Wars setting.  Buildings, ships, towers.

LucasArts / Aspir

according to BloombergThe sale of Saber will not affect its role in the development of the studio upcoming Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) to redo. That game has already changed hands once: one of Saber’s Eastern European studios Passed by Aspyr Media In the summer of 2022.

Aspyr is said to have been working on the game for years before releasing a demo for Lucasfilm and Sony in June 2022; a week later, Aspyr fired its design director and art director. (Reports KOTOR (A demo costing a disproportionate amount of time and money may indicate a possible reason for the failure.) By the end of that summer, Saber had taken over development of the highly anticipated work. postponed indefinitely – redo.

Embracer bought Saber in 2020 for $525 million gathered game studios left and right. During this period, it acquired at least 27 companies and incorporated some of them (Demiurge Studios and New World Interactive) into Saber. Bloomberg reports that the deal to sell Saber to private investors includes an option to “bring on multiple Embracer subsidiaries.”

A studio that is too big to get into this operation Borderlands developer Gearbox Entertainment. However, Kotaku informed On Thursday, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford told employees this week that a decision had been made about the future of the studio. He allegedly said he could share more details with them next month.

Meanwhile, a cloud of uncertainty surrounds Gearbox and the rest of Embracer’s studios. According to an anonymous developer, “I’ve personally been looking for roles elsewhere, not only because of fear of Embracer being fired, but also because of the pay.” Kotaku. “The uncertain and holding pattern is definitely par for the course right now and has been for most of 2023.”

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