Perfect World Entertainment Acquired By Embracer Group, Will Operate As Subsidiary Of Gearbox Entertainment
$125 million deal includes Cryptic Studios; PWE had operating losses from Magic: Legends
Embracer Group, which serves as parent company to a number of well-known IPs in the video gaming world, just added another big one to its family. The company today announced the acquisition of Perfect World Entertainment for $125 million. The deal will close in February and consists of $60 million in cash and $65 in B shares of Embracer.
The MMO publisher and developer, as well as its subsidiary developers such as Cryptic Studios, will itself act as a subsidiary of another Embracer company, Borderlands developer Gearbox Entertainment.
The press release announcing the deal mentions the various games under Perfect World's/Cryptic's banner, such as Star Trek Online, Champions Online, and Neverwinter, but also spares a few words for Magic: Legends -- but not in a good way: "During 2021, PWE had operating losses stemming from the cancellation of Cryptic’s newest MMO (Magic: Legends) and a gap in PWE Publishing’s release schedule." That might explain that game's rapid shutdown for not being profitable enough -- Perfect World needed it to survive on its own and decided to cut its losses before it spiraled too far into the red.
As expected, Embracer has plenty of nice things to say about its latest acquisition and promises that everything will be rosy from here on out. Its newly acquired games "generate significant profits" and it "expects the live Cryptic titles will continue to be strong and steady for the upcoming years." Perfect World Entertainment's publishing arm has another title in the works for 2022 and expects to produce five more titles by 2024.
In case you need a refresher, Embracer Group was formerly known as THQ Nordic AB and includes eight "operative groups": THQ Nordic GmbH, Koch Media GmbH/Deep Silver, Coffee Stain AB, Amplifier Game Invest, Saber Interactive, DECA Games, Gearbox Entertainment, and Easybrain. Notable gaming IPs under its banner include Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Darksiders, Metro, MX vs ATV, Kingdoms of Amalur, TimeSplitters, Satisfactory, Wreckfest, Insurgency, World War Z, and Borderlands.
In other geek-related news, Embracer also announced the acquisition of comics publisher Dark Horse Media today as well.
While I'm usually pretty neutral on the topic of acquisitions, I'm actually going to paint this one as a positive for everyone involved. Embracer's long history with a number of video game franchises leads me to believe that it won't disrupt things to any great degree, and it's clear the Perfect World needed the bailout after Magic: Legends' failure. And maybe now Cryptic can get the help it needs the next time its developers think that a game with random ability buttons is a good idea.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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