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Gearbox Is Finally Part Of Take-Two, After Embracer Divests From The Company

Take-Two’s take two on Gearbox is a success.

Gearbox is now part of the Take-Two Interactive Family, in a deal that’s a fraction of what Embracer paid to originally acquire them.

Before we get to the official announcement, we do need to explain that Gearbox was not owned by 2K Games or Take-Two this whole time. Gearbox was founded in 1999, with early notable projects including the Half-Life expansions and console ports, and their first original property, Brothers in Arms.

Gearbox’s Borderlands was released in 2009, and published by 2K Games. However, Gearbox remained an independent company from 2K and their parent company Take-Two Interactive. This allowed them to take on other projects, including the ill-fated Aliens: Colonial Marines, with that title’s publisher, Sega.

In 2021, Embracer Group acquired Gearbox, making it the crown jewel of their acquisitions. 2K Games was still publisher on Gearbox’s Borderlands games, but under this deal Embracer would be making the profits Gearbox made for those titles. And that’s precisely how it played out for Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands and New Tales of the Borderlands, both published in 2022.

As Embracer has announced in a new press release, they are divesting most of Gearbox to Take-Two Interactive, for the price of $ 460 million. Even with the somewhat diminished reputation of Gearbox following Borderlands 3, this deal was a steal. But of course, Embracer had to take it because they needed the money.

To put it simply, the parts of Gearbox that were originally in the company before the acquisition are going to Take-Two Interactive, while the parts of the company that were added to them by Embracer after the acquisition, are going back to Embracer.

Take-Two gets the original Gearbox Software studio in Frisco, Texas, their Montreal and Quebec studios, and their IPs, namely, Borderlands, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Homeworld, Risk of Rain, Brothers in Arms, and Duke Nukem.

Embracer keeps Perfect World Entertainment, which had been renamed Gearbox Publishing San Francisco, and is set to be renamed again. Now this is a key detail, because it means Embracer still keeps publishing rights to Hyper Light Breaker, the whole Remnant franchise, and other games that haven’t been announced yet.

Alongside this, Embracer also keeps MMO studio Cryptic Studios, 3D scanning company Captured Dimensions, and Lost Boys Interactive, a studio that had assisted Gearbox in making games in the past, and also suffered some layoffs in recent months.

We did know for some time that Gearbox would be leaving Embracer shortly. The gaming giant was running short of cash, and just can’t afford to keep Gearbox on. We just didn’t know if the finer details would lead to Gearbox buying themselves out, or for Take-Two to acquire them.

This could lead to changes to how Gearbox does business, as now they can’t just take on new projects outside of Take-Two. But this is likely a very good outcome for all parties involved, even if Embracer sold the studio for over half of what they paid for.

You can read Gearbox founder Randy Pitchford’s official statement below.

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