Embracer Group will reportedly sell Space Marine 2 studio Saber Interactive for $500 million

Saber Interactive, which Embracer acquired in 2020, will continue to operate as a privately-owned company.

Mar 1, 2024 - 00:30
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Embracer Group will reportedly sell Space Marine 2 studio Saber Interactive for $500 million

A Bloomberg report says that Swedish holding company Embracer Group has reached a deal worth as much as $500 million to sell its Saber Interactive division to a group of private investors. The deal will make Saber Interactive a privately owned company, according to the report, with approximately 3,500 employees.

Embracer bought Saber Interactive in 2020 at the height of its acquisition spree. It was made the fifth operating group under Embracer's corporate structure and currently serves as the parent of numerous other studios including 4A Games, Aspyr, Beamdog, New World Interactive, Slipgate Ironworks, and Tripwire.

But Embracer ran into trouble in May 2023 when an investment deal worth $2 billion dollars, reportedly with Saudi Arabia's Savvy Games Group, fell through. Since then the company has laid off hundreds of employees and closed multiple studios, in some cases—such as with Timesplitters studio Free Radical Design—after failing to find potential new owners.

While no specific studios were mentioned, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors hinted that deals were in the works in its most recent quarterly financial report. "Embracer still has a few larger structured divestment processes ongoing that could strengthen our balance sheet and further reduce capex [capital expenditure]," Wingefors said. "Processes are in mature stages."

Unfortunately, he also alluded to potential further layoffs at companies that end up being sold off: "Certain companies might initiate restructuring before any divestment is announced."

Saber is currently working a couple of high-profile but seemingly struggling games: A Knights of the Old Republic remake, which Bloomberg says is still in development despite a dearth of information on it since it was "delayed indefinitely" in 2022, and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2, which in November 2023 was pushed into the second half of 2024, a delay that could potentially be up to a full year.

Embracer is also reportedly looking to sell at least one other major studio, Gearbox, which it acquired in 2021 in a deal worth up to $1.3 billion. There's been no public movement on that front, but Kotaku reported earlier today that a sale is close to being finalized.

It's not clear whether the Saber Interactive sale will include some or all of the studios it currently controls as part of Embracer, although the Bloomberg report says the deal includes an option for other studios to be a part of the sale. Embracer and Saber Interactive declined to comment.