Gearbox Software, the studio most well-known for the Borderlands franchise, is reportedly up for sale as parent company Embracer Group considers options to “shore up its finances,” according to a September 11 Reuters report.
Three people familiar with the matter told Reuters that various third parties have expressed interest in purchasing Gearbox from Embracer Group, with the Sweden-based holding company working with both investment bank firms Aream & Co and Goldman Sachs to explore a possible sale. Unnamed “international gaming groups” are among the likely buyers; however, Reuters’ anonymous sources said that a deal may not actually happen, though they didn’t provide a reason why.
This development comes almost two weeks after Embracer Group shut down Volition, a 30-year-old studio responsible for games like the open-world shooter Agents of Mayhem, the first-person shooter series Red Faction, and the open-world action game series Saints Row. The holding company made the decision to shutter Volition and lay off its developers because of a failed $2 billion investment deal with the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which fell through in May. As a result of the funding arrangement falling through, Embracer Group announced in June a “restructuring program” meant to bolster its position in the industry. According to an August 31 statement from Volition on its sudden closure, the studio said that part of Embracer Group’s restructuring program involved evaluating operational and strategic goals, which prompted the holding company to shutter the studio.
Despite closing Volition and potentially selling off Gearbox Software, Embracer Group still owns quite a few companies. This includes publishers Deep Silver (Dead Island 2) and THQ Nordic (Biomutant), developer Coffee Stain Studios (Goat Simulator), developer-publisher Saber Interactive (Evil Dead: The Game), book publisher Dark Horse Comics, and game distributor Limited Run Games, among others. One of Embracer Group’s last acquisitions was in October 2022, when the company scooped up British anime distributor Anime Limited, though a sale price wasn’t listed.
Kotaku reached out to Embracer Group and Gearbox Software for comment.