If you follow the video games industry you may have noticed that a Swedish holding company has been eating up a ton of smaller development houses as well as some fairly established publishers. They’ve resurrected dormant IPs (Darksiders, Titan Quest, Kingdoms of Amalur) and are among the few publishers supporting smaller new IPs (Biomutant, Elex, Remnant: From the Ashes). They have also swooped in to save studios which have fostered beloved franchises (Metro, Saints Row, Homefront) and have reestablished beloved defunct developers like Free Radical (TimeSplitters). It is my belief that Embracer Group is among the greatest game companines in operation. Which is hilarious because for the longest time I didn’t know who or what they f***ing were.
Embracer Group has done a fairly good job at operating behind the scenes, slowly consuming other companies out of the public eye with an aggressive acquisition strategy which has so far yielded prety insane dividends. In 2021 alone, Embracer’s Revenue was a staggering 10.603 billion kr ($177,040,930.50 USD) of which 0.287 billion kr ($31,697,284.50 USD) was net income. This was the same year they sold additional stock to raise $890 million for more acquisitions. In short, this beheamouth is the blob that ate everything.
Still, what the f*** is Embracer Group? A developer? A publisher? A scary org chart? Well, I figured it would be easier to explain who Embracer is by explaining where they came from and how we got here.
So, naturally, I made an infographic:
Hilariously, this is the first time I’ve created a two-page timeline because too much had occured in a single year. 2020/2021 might have been among the worst periods of time in modern history, thanks in no small part to a deadly global pandemic, but it was also a prosperous time for Embracer Group and the numerous development studios which comprise it.
In an era where re-releases of classics, sub-AAA-titles, and non-live service games are becoming hard to come by, Embracer is supporting traditional game development in ways no other publisher seems interested.
I have no idea how massive Embracer Group will become in 2022. I have no idea what other video game, comic book, and media companies it will absorb in the future. I have clearly become terrible at predicting these things. I certaintly never expected Embracer to acquire Gearbox (I figured 2K would step in) or Darkhorse (which I was sure would someday belong to Netflix or Viacom). Also, if you asked me if I thought I would be playing a new DCL expansion for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning nine years after its original release I would have assumed you were drunk or high. Embracer Group so far has kept me on my toes, and I hope they continue to do so.