There are tons of video game developers and publishers that create the games we all love. Developers and publishers work in tandem to make sure games cross the finish line and get into the hands of players. Most major publishers own their own groups of studios like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo do. However, there are some companies that even own groups of publishers on top of development studios.
That brings us to today’s topic: the Embracer Group. They were in the news earlier this month for some major studio acquisitions that had most of the industry talking. For those unaware, Embracer Group is a holding company that owns 10 major publishing labels and over 100 development studios under those. Today we are going to look at the five major game studios that fall under the Embracer Group umbrella.
To start off our list is one of the newest studios that Embracer Group acquired in Crystal Dynamics. Announced just a few short weeks ago, Embracer Group acquired Crystal Dynamics along with Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix Montreal from Square Enix for a sum of approximately $300 million USD. Aside from just getting Square Enix’s Western studios, the acquisition also included the legendary and iconic IP Tomb Raider. Crystal Dynamics is the biggest and most important of the three studios for that reason.
The studio already announced earlier this year that they are already at work on developing the next Tomb Raider game using Unreal Engine 5 which will be the biggest game to come from an Embracer Group-owned studio. Crystal Dynamics is also currently helping the Microsoft-owned studio The Initiative with the development of the reboot of Perfect Dark. Thus, this is one of the major times that Embracer Group is working with a first party which is a big deal. Going forward, Crystal Dynamics is sure to be one of Embracer Group’s most important studios in their catalog.
Next up is the developer publisher hybrid and one of the 10 bigger verticals under the Embracer Group umbrella with Gearbox. Gearbox was acquired at the beginning of last year in the biggest acquisition for the company thus far. Gearbox is best known for developing the Borderlands franchise, and the IP came along in the deal. However, Embracer Group will forego being the publisher of the series as 2K Games will still remain the publisher of all games in the series.
Gearbox’s first game released since being purchased by Embracer Group was the recently released Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, though the game was published by 2K Games. What makes Gearbox even more important than Borderlands is the fact that the studio is also a publisher which is why Gearbox is one of the 10 verticals aside from just being another one of the studios they own. Since the acquisition, the studio has been the publisher of one game so far with more to come. With the ability to develop their own games as well as publishing other studio’s games, Gearbox is definitely one of Embracer Group’s most important studios.
Coming in next is the studio behind the Saints Row franchise, Volition. Volition has been around in some form since the early 90s, but didn’t really reach mainstream status until they released the original Saints Row back in 2006. The Grand Theft Auto like series exploded in popularity and Volition has mainly focused on the series for over fifteen years now. The studio came under the Embracer Group when the company bought Volition’s parent companies Koch Media and Deep Silver in 2018.
Why does Volition fall within Embracer Group’s top 5 most important studios, you may ask. That’s all because of Saints Row. Saints Row is still very popular and is one of the biggest active franchises, and was probably the biggest when Volition was acquired, Embracer Group owns. The studio is also releasing Embracer Group’s biggest game this year with the reboot of Saints Row currently set to release this August.
Many people probably don’t know who Aspyr Media are or why they would crack this list. The studio was acquired alongside Gearbox back in 2018, and it actually makes perfect sense as to why Embracer Group wanted them. Aspyr Media has been one of the biggest port studios in the industry for over 20 years now. Aspyr Media has done porting work on major franchises such as Call of Duty, Star Wars, and Civilization. Embracer Group owns tons of old IP and games from older generations, thus Aspyr Media could easily work on porting those old games to current systems.
However, there’s another reason as to why Aspyr Media makes this list. As mentioned, the studio has done tons of work on the Star Wars franchise by porting many of those games to different devices. Now, working with the license has paid dividends for both Aspyr Media and Embracer Group. Last year, it was announced that the studio would be undertaking the development of the remake of the 2003 classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. On top of being a major port studio, this remake is going to be one of the absolute biggest and most anticipated games Embracer Group will have been a part of, and is why Aspyr Media deserves to be here.
To end our list today is 4A Games. 4A Games are the developers behind the post-apocalyptic Metro series. Acquired as part of the Koch Media and Deep Silver acquisition, 4A Games has released one game since becoming part of Embracer Group with Metro Exodus back in 2019. Many people may not have played the Metro series, but the dower Eastern European world and shooter mechanics make it stand out compared to other modern first-person shooter series.
The studio announced back in 2020 that they are already working on the next game in the Metro series. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an official reveal or release information given about the new title in the series as of yet. However, that doesn’t stop 4A Games from making this list as they are still one of the premier first-person shooter studios the Embracer Group owns.
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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Image Credit: Aspyr Media.