According to reports, Borderlands creator Gearbox Entertainment is potentially being sold two years after being acquired by the Embracer Group.
According to Reuters, Embracer is in talks with potential buyers of the Borderlands creator. Gearbox Entertainment and its assets were bought by the Embracer Group in 2021. The company was one of a few different development studios that owned well-known IPs that were acquired by Embracer around that time.
Following the news of Gearbox being sold, shares of Embracer rose 5%. The potential sale of Gearbox is part of a wider restructuring of the company that began in June 2023 after a “challenging year” for the company, according to CEO Lars Wingefors. The holding company has been churning out games regularly including the likes AEW Fight Forever and the upcoming Alone in the Dark, but is in the middle of a tumultuous stretch.
Is Gearbox Entertainment shutting down?
Gearbox isn’t necessarily shutting down, but it could be in for a major change in the immediate future. This potential sale is simply part of the wider initiative within Embracer. The sale may or may not happen and it is unknown what may come of the studio if no buyer for the Borderlands developer is found.
THQ Nordic rebranded to Embracer in 2019 and made a series of acquisitions of notable gaming studios. Besides Gearbox, Embracer also acquired multiple development studios from Square Enix Europe in May 2022 including Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal. As part of this, it also gained ownership of major gaming IPs including Deus Ex, Thief, and Tomb Raider.
According to reports, Embracer was set to receive a significant investment from the government of Saudi Arabia. When this fell through, the company began a major overhaul that included the shutdown of Saints Row creator Volition.
What will happen to the Borderlands franchise?
It is unknown what may happen to the Borderlands franchise whether a sale of Gearbox goes through or not. No official news has come out about the fate of the Borderlands franchise.
Multiple games in the series have garnered strong critical praise and much of Gearbox’s development efforts have been focused on Borderlands. The success of Borderlands has helped keep Gearbox as a well-regarded name, despite the studio also being behind the infamous Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines.
It’s impossible to say what will happen to Borderlands, as it’s possible that Gearbox and Borderlands could be packaged and sold, could be split up, or could remain part of Embracer Group. The popularity of the franchise likely means it will continue on in one form or another, though.