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Things Won't Be The Same For Gearbox After Embracer Acquisition

Embracer Group, which was previously THQ Nordic, has been snapping up studios, and one of its latest acquisitions is turning heads. The subsidiary just purchased Gearbox, the AAA studio best known for its Borderlands games, and this acquisition shows endless possibilities for the future of Gearbox.


While some may be worried as to what this merger means for the future of the Borderlands franchise, series publisher 2K Games was quick to put all concerns to rest. The publisher shared on Twitter that they "look forward to continuing [their] long-term partnership with this incredibly talented team and delivering many more exciting entertainment experiences to gaming fans around the world."

It has also been confirmed that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford will remain at the helm as Gearbox is welcomed into the fold at Embracer Group. Judging from the press release regarding the acquisition, Pitchford is incredibly optimistic about the new partnership, believing that bigger and better things are in store for the studio. One fact that fans can count on is that things won't be the same going forward. This is what could change following the merger.


Developers might be paid more

Members of the Borderlands 3 team caused an uproar in 2020 after they believed they were short-changed on their hard-earned bonuses. What was allegedly promised to be in the six-figure range turned out to be much less. On top of that, the devs at Gearbox reportedly make "below-average salaries," according to Kotaku.


Now that Gearbox will be operating under the Embracer Group umbrella, all that could change. In a press release, Gearbox claimed that, "The transaction ... provides Gearbox with access to capital, adding rocket fuel to Gearbox's powerful creative engine." 

Such a statement certainly opens up the possibility of higher wages for the people who make the games. The term "creative engine" could very well refer to the dev team, which makes up the creative force behind these highly popular games. If this is the case, the employees at Gearbox could be happier the next time they receive a bonus. 

More movies and TV shows could be on the way

There is currently a Borderlands movie in the works, and it was recently confirmed that Kevin Hart will be playing the character Roland. This is exciting news for fans of the popular gaming franchise. A new TV series based on another Gearbox property, Brothers in Arms, is in development as well. Considering that the AAA studio is beginning to branch into other forms of media, the timing of this acquisition could add fuel to the fire. Fans might see more movies and TV shows based on current and future franchises. Who knows, there could even be a Duke Nukem movie down the road. Hopefully, such a project wouldn't take 15 years to develop like Duke Nukem Forever


In a piece for Kotaku, Luke Plunkett speculated that the Borderlands movie "no doubt contributed to Embracer's interest," which could suggest a desire to expand Gearbox brands outside the video game realm. As it stands, Embracer Group is a "parent company of businesses developing and publishing PC, console and mobile games for the global games market," but perhaps this will be the beginning of a brand-new venture.

We likely won't see a repeat of Aliens: Colonial Marines

Gearbox has produced major hit games, but not all titles were successful. One game in particular that turned out to be a total disaster was Aliens: Colonial Marines. The game was, unfortunately, plagued with problems throughout development.


There were two big factors at play here: For one, the developers were overloaded due to the demand for a sequel to Borderlands. This caused them to pass the project on to another studio, which led to the second issue: miscommunication. The game came out years after the original release date, and it bombed.

Gearbox will now have access to the tremendous resources and employee networks behind Embracer Group. According to the company press release, "The Gearbox team has developed and engaged a plan for immediate and long-term growth that includes the expansion of talent at both studios, the creation of new Gearbox studios, and expanded partnerships." If a project were to ever follow a similar path as Aliens: Colonial Marines, not only is it likely that Gearbox will have a greater workforce, but it will have the ability to form direct partnerships with sister companies, streamlining processes and communication.