Embracer Group is continuing to reap the benefits of its ever-growing empire. In their recent financial report, the company revealed they have 160 games in development, and 90 of those will be released before the end of the current fiscal year. They’re also in talks to acquire yet more development studios.
By the end of March 2021, the company had 160 games in progress and these figures now include projects from Gearbox and Aspyr Media too. We know from their last financial report that more than 70 of the games are classed as premium titles. More than 2/3 of them will also be either brand new IPs or revitalized IPs. Embracer defines the latter as a new game in an IP that hasn’t seen any new content created for at least five years. They confirmed one of these dormant IPs is TimeSplitters; a new game is due to start development at the newly created Free Radical Design studio.
Of those 160 titles, 90 will be released before the end of March 2022 and they are expected to raise SEK 2.8-3.3 billion ($337-397 million) in value between them. The majority will be released during the latter part of the financial year, during the first three months of 2022. On the other hand, Biomutant will be released in just five days’ time and the game’s preorders are exceeding the company’s expectations so far. Deep Silver has titles like Saints Row: The Third Remastered heading to PS5, Chivalry 2, and Dead Island 2 in development. Saber Interactive has Evil Dead: The Game and a console version of Insurgency: Sandstorm. Milestone is contributing Hot Wheels Unleashed.
These are just the games we know about. According to @EmbracerInvest on Twitter, the newly acquired Appeal Studio is working on an IP for THQ Nordic, currently described as a sci-fi open-world project. This is believed to be a new title in the Outcast franchise. KAIKO specializes in porting and remastering existing IPs for new platforms, but they’re currently working on a new project based on an IP bought from the defunct THQ company. Massive Miniteam is working on multiple titles, one of which is an IP from “a major TV/movie studio,” although this isn’t due to be released until summer 2022.
Despite the large number of projects already in development, Embracer isn’t satisfied. They’ve raised a massive SEK 17 billion ($2 billion) in available cash, including a large chunk from investors, that can be used for further acquisitions of development studios. In just the last three months alone, they’ve been talking to more than 150 companies in the hopes of bringing them into the fold. Right now they’re in late-stage talks with over 20 of those companies. Embracer Co-founder and CEO Lars Wingefors explains why:
We have more market-demand driven opportunity via innovative concepts, dormant IP’s, licenses and other business opportunities than we have the development capability to execute. Thus, the ambition is to further expand our creative engine through increased headcount, both organically through scaling up existing studios and also by adding new talented studios to the Group.
During the last financial year, the company invested over SEK 2 billion (around $241 million) into the development of games. Interestingly, Wingefors claims that fees paid to platform-holders on Steam and consoles for hosting their digital titles are at least twice that amount. He states the company will “continue to challenge these paradigms” in the hopes they can reduce costs in the future.
Finally, Embracer had a better year than last year with net sales increasing by 72% to the value of SEK 9.024 billion ($1.086 billion). Not all of that is from gaming, but that section of their business still contributed the majority of those sales with SEK 6.448 billion ($776 million). Valheim has managed to sell 6.8 million copies in the first quarter of its release, but while it was by far the most successful game for the company, it wasn’t the only one to get a special mention. SnowRunner has managed to shift nearly 2 million copies, while Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Re-Hydrated has also hit that milestone. Destroy All Humans! has sold more than 1 million copies.