News

Embracer acquires A Thinking Ape and 11 other games studios

Date Type Companies involved Size
November 18th, 2020 acquisition A Thinking Ape
Embracer Group
Mad Head Games
Quantic Lab
THQ Nordic
Zen Studios
Not disclosed
Embracer acquires A Thinking Ape and 11 other games studios

European games giant Embracer Group has announced the purchase of 12 studios and a PR company.

Buckle up because we have a lot to get through. The THQ Nordic parent has snapped up game developers Canada's Thinking Ape and IUGO Mobile Entertainment, Nimble Giant from Argentina, Serbian studio Mad Head Games, Snapshot Games from Bulgaria, Italy's 34BigThings, Zen Studios from Hungaria, Austria's Purple Lamp, Quantic Lab in Romania, Poland's Flying Wild Hog, Coffee Stain North and England's Silent Games.

That's on top of New York-based PR and influencer relations agency Sandbox Strategy. As a result of these acquisitions, Embracer now runs 58 studios and boasts over 5,700 staff across more than 45 countries. Buying these ten new studios has brought 767 developers into the fold.

This news comes alongside Embracer Group's financials for the three months ending September 30th. In its report to investors, CEO Lars Wingefors said that the firm had raised kr5.7bn ($664m) for further acquisitions in October via a direct share sale. This comes in the wake of a $164m investment that Embracer landed in April of this year.

A bit of M&A

"The Embracer strategy to build a truly independent eco-system based on committed entrepreneurs and developers that share the same ambitious long-term mindset," Wingefors wrote.

"I’m a firm believer in giving great people trust to make their own decisions. The M&A market is more active than ever and the past three months we have actively been engaging with more than 100 entrepreneurs who want to be part of the Embracer family, including a dozen sizable businesses that has the potential to create new operative groups under the parent company. We patiently and disciplined continue to execute our M&A strategy across the group."

Earlier this year, Embracer Group bought World War Z developer Saber, the latest in a long line of acquisitions going back to the 2013 THQ fire sale when the company then known as Nordic Games snapped up a bunch of IP, including the THQ name.

Mobile madness

One of the acquisitions as mentioned above, A Thinking Ape, is a free-to-play mobile games studio based in Vancouver. Furthermore, the developer was advised on the deal by Agnitio Capital.

"Today, A Thinking Ape becomes part of Embracer and joins the ranks of a wonderful group of entrepreneurs," said A Thinking Ape CEO and co-founder Kenshi Arasaki

"I have been continually impressed by the sheer scope of Embracer's ambition and strategy, and we look forward to helping build out an enduring and long-term mobile free to play organization."

Moreover, the acquisition was made via Embracer's subsidiary DECA Games.

"A Thinking Ape is one of the most respected mobile game studios in the industry," said DECA Games CEO and founder Ken Go.

"They've been successful for over a decade, and we believe they are on the cusp of stepping up to an even bigger level. I'm delighted to join forces with Kenshi and the rest of his team."

For the original story, head over to PCGamesInsider.biz.

Additional reporting by Kayleigh Partleton.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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