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Embracer to sell Borderlands dev Gearbox to Take-Two in $460m deal

Gearbox games from Borderlands and Homeworld to Duke Nukem will fall under Take-Two’s possession
Embracer to sell Borderlands dev Gearbox to Take-Two in $460m deal
Date Type Companies Involved Size
Mar 28, 2024 acquisition Embracer Group Gearbox Software Take-Two Interactive $460m
  • Take-Two is acquiring Gearbox from Embracer for a sum of $460 million
  • Gearbox’s founder and CEO Randy Pitchford is expected to continue leading the company post-acquisition

Take-Two is acquiring developer and publisher Gearbox from Embracer for a sum of $460 million.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of June 2024, shifting Gearbox’s three US and Canadian offices into Take-Two’s possession.

Gearbox’s founder and CEO Randy Pitchford will continue to lead the company post-acquisition.

Plenty to play for

Gearbox and Take-Two have long been associated through the Borderlands series, dating back to the franchise’s first game in 2009. Gearbox leads development on the games while Take-Two’s subsidiary 2K publishes them.

This means that through the acquisition, Take-Two will come to own the development and publishing arms of Borderlands.

The company is also taking ownership of Homeworld, the galactic strategy series published by Gearbox. Homeworld Mobile, developed by Stratosphere Games, will join Take-Two’s mobile portfolio as a result - which has grown significantly since the $12.7 billion acquisition of Zynga.

Brothers in Arms, Risk of Rain and Duke Nukem will also fall under Take-Two’s ownership through the Gearbox acquisition, as will any future titles from the developer - including five sequels and one brand-new IP, according to Take-Two.

Changing hands

Selling Gearbox for $460 million marks a stark depreciation in deal value from the potential $1.3 billion Embracer bought it for in 2021. Embracer had to pay $363 million upfront to acquire the studio, $175 million of which was in Embracer shares, while the rest of the potential cost was to be based on performance.

The new consideration comprises newly issued shares of Take-Two common stock.

The decision to sell up less than three years on is the latest step in Embracer’s restructuring initiative, in progress ever since the group’s share price dropped 45% last spring. Part of this restructuring has included letting go of 1,400 staff across its studios.

"Our acquisition of Gearbox is an exciting moment for Take-Two and will strengthen our industry-leading creative talent and portfolio of owned intellectual property, including the iconic Borderlands franchise," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick commented.

"This combination enhances the financial profile of our existing projects with Gearbox and unlocks the opportunity for us to drive increased long-term growth by leveraging the full resources of Take-Two across all of Gearbox’s exciting initiatives."

2K Games president David Ismailer added: "With nearly 20 years of history working together, Gearbox has played an integral role in our success, given their unique ability to create interactive entertainment experiences that feature beloved characters, exciting new worlds, and humorous storytelling," 

Pitchford commented: "Joining forces with Take-Two Interactive and 2K will help Gearbox ascend to our next level. Take-Two and 2K have demonstrated repeatedly their commitment to our engine of generating creativity, happiness, and profit.

"We set the bar for interactive entertainment and achieved remarkable results with groundbreaking, record-setting games when we worked together at arm's length as partners. I’m incredibly excited about what we can accomplish now that we're fully aligned as one."