Swedish video game company Embracer Group, which added Gearbox Software to its portfolio early this year, has announced a series of acquisitions today. Among them is Perfect World Entertainment, which also owned Cryptic Studios. Perfect World and Cryptic Studios will remain independent studios but operate under Gearbox’ publishing division going forward.
In a press release announcing the acquisition, Embracer Group highlighted Cryptic Studios’ history as developer of several successful MMORPGs, with development of titles like Neverwinter, Champions Online, and Star Trek Online being successful releases that maintain strong communities. However, they also cited Perfect World’s losses after Cryptic had to cancel Magic: Legends and shut the game down this fall without ever getting out of beta and thus a gap in the release schedule. It seems that the company saw an opportunity to acquire the company and go further, especially since this deal adds MMORPGs to Embracer’s fold.
There are also some hints at what we might be able to expect in the next couple of years:
Cryptic Studios currently operates three longstanding MMOs (Neverwinter, Star Trek Online and Champions Online) with a shared life span of 25+ years. These titles generate significant profits, and Embracer expects the live Cryptic titles will continue to be strong and steady for the upcoming years. PWE Publishing has a compelling slate of upcoming games while continuing to evaluate new opportunities. Of the existing slate, PWE’s next launch is planned in 2022 with five additional releases by 2024.
Time to start speculating just what these five new titles in the next two years might be.
While the deal was announced today, it won’t be officially complete until February. Embracer Group also announced today that it had acquired Dark Horse Comics, increasing its IP ownership that includes 300, Darksiders, Duke Nukem, Torchlight, Sin City, Saints Row, and more.