Skip to main content

Embracer Group, the company forging one IP portfolio to rule them all, explained

Embracer Group, the company forging one IP portfolio to rule them all, explained

/

The Swedish holding company doesn’t own quite everything that’s not Activision or EA, but it’s getting there

Share this story

Image: New Line Cinemas

The Embracer Group is a doozy of a media company. It’s 11 parent companies in a massive trench coat that are themselves composed of several more parent companies that own publishers and developers and the rights to video game franchises both AAA and indie. Earlier today, it added a bunch more companies to its roster including Limited Run Games, Maneater developer Tripwire Interactive, and the intellectual property rights to parts of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit universes.

To list all of Embracer Group’s companies and assets would take an unreasonable amount of time and space and would get kinda boring. So here are the high points in the company’s portfolio.

What video game franchises I’ve heard of does Embracer now own?

Embracer Group owns the companies that own the companies that make: Little Nightmares II, Goat Simulator, Destroy All Humans!, TimeSplitters, Timecop, Darksiders, Saints Row, Duke Nukem, Borderlands, Valheim, Killing Floor, Deus Ex, and Tomb Raider.

And what about Embracer Group’s TV, comics, and movie franchises?

In 2021, Embracer bought Dark Horse Media, parent group of Dark Horse Comics — the fourth-largest comics publisher and home to hits like Hellboy, Sin City, 300, and The Umbrella Academy. Naturally, this also means it owns the rights to all of those comics’ future movie adaptations, too. But wait, there’s more! Embracer Group also owns several physical game publishers, including a ton of licensed card and board games, and thee Settlers of Catan.

When did Embracer start this purchasing spree?

Most of these companies and franchises were acquired in the last four years. This most recent acquisition tear started back in May of this year when it bought the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex franchises along with other development studios and games from Square Enix Europe. In a press release, the company said the deal “brings a compelling pipeline of new installments from beloved franchises and original IPs, including a new Tomb Raider game.”

Where did Embracer get all the money for this spree?

In part, from the government of Saudi Arabia which invested $1 billion buying an 8 percent stake in the company. Lars Wingefors, the CEO of Embracer, recognized this might give some folks pause considering, y’know...all those human rights violations. He wrote about it shortly after the investment was announced saying, “Embracer is built on the principles of freedom, inclusion, humanity and openness. The transaction with SGG [Savy Gaming Group] will not change this in any way.”

So what’s Embracer’s big plan?

It seems the company’s long-term strategy is to acquire notable intellectual properties within the gaming industry and other IPs with which they can make games and other media. (This has been Disney’s strategy for over a decade.) Today’s purchase of Limited Run Games also means that anything in Embracer’s expansive back catalog could see a physical rerelease.

The rate at which Embracer Group is gobbling up companies further consolidating an already increasingly consolidated market is cause for some concern. But to put the company in perspective to its peers in the industry, it would take about eight of them to equal one Activision Blizzard. So while the company seems massive, comparatively speaking, it doesn’t even crack the top 10 list of biggest video game companies. At least not yet. The Lord of the Rings deal presents huge opportunities to make gobs of cash with games set in that universe. It’s totally within the realm of possibility for a Minas Tirith city management simulator or, even better, a Barbie Horse Adventures-style game with the Rohirrim. One can hope.

Update 10:02 A.M. ET: A section regarding Saudi Arabia’s investment in Embracer was added.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 5:33 PM UTC Striking out

A
Youtube
Andrew Webster5:33 PM UTC
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew Webster4:28 PM UTC
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew Webster1:05 PM UTC
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.


E
TikTok
Spain’s Transports Urbans de Sabadell has La Bussí.

Once again, the US has fallen behind in transportation — call it the Bussí gap. A hole in our infrastructure, if you will.


J
External Link
Jay PetersSep 23
Doing more with less (extravagant holiday parties).

Sundar Pichai addressed employees’ questions about Google’s spending changes at an all-hands this week, according to CNBC.

“Maybe you were planning on hiring six more people but maybe you are going to have to do with four and how are you going to make that happen?” Pichai sent a memo to workers in July about a hiring slowdown.

In the all-hands, Google’s head of finance also asked staff to try not to go “over the top” for holiday parties.