Embracer Group acquires 11 game studios and a PR firm (updated)

Somebody better tell Embracer Group (formerly THQ Nordic and Nordic Games Publishing) to slow down because the game publisher just decided to acquire 11 game studios.

The deals are smaller in nature, but along with Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda in September, it is yet more proof that the game industry has gone insane with dealmaking.

The acquired studios include Thinking Ape Entertainment in Canada (82 people), Nimble Giant Entertainment in Argentina (75 people), Mad Head Games in Serbia (130 people), Snapshot Games in Bulgaria (65 people), 34BigThings in Italy (28 employees), Zen Studios in Hungary (65 people), IUGO Mobile Entertainment in Canada (86 people), Purple Lamp Studios in Austria (38 people), Quantic Lab in Romania (390 people), Coffee Stain North (22 employees) and Silent Games in England (30 people).

It also bought Sandbox Strategies, a PR and influencer relations agency in New York. The 11 studios and PR agency add at least 1,013 new employees to Embracer Group’s growing ranks, as that pushes the company over 5,000 employees.

The company reported 4,445 employees for the third quarter, including 3,593 internal and external game developers. The total is up 17% from a year ago.

The Karlstad, Sweden-based company said it has 135 game projects in the works right now, up from 118 in May. Market researcher Newzoo expects game industry revenues to hit $174.9 billion in 2020, thanks in part to gamers entertaining themselves relentlessly during the pandemic. Embracer raised $661 million in cash via a stock sale on October 8.

Embracer Group also reported its earnings today and said its sales increased 89% for the third quarter ended September 30 to $276.4 million, while profits before taxes and other items was $112.3 million.

Expect to see more deals soon. CEO Lars Wingefors said the company has been actively talking to more than 100 entrepreneurs who “want to be part of the Embracer family.”

Updated: 11:17 p.m. Pacific on 11/17/20 with one we missed.

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