Embracer Group announced last week a merger with Gearbox Software, among other companies. In this way, the creators of Borderlands join the huge conglomerate of studios and publishers that make up Volition, Milestone, Warhorse Studios, 4A Games, Zen Studios, Bugbear Entertainment, Experiment 101, Gunfire Games, Piranha Bytes, Tarsier Studios, and more.
According to Brad Sams and Jez Corden, well-known Xbox insiders, we now know that Microsoft was one of the companies interested in acquiring the studio. Still, it appears that the deal was not finalized, or Embracer Group offered a better deal.
“Gearbox was one of the companies that inspired the original tweet, I think Microsoft was studying Gearbox, but clearly they did not finalize the agreement,” says Sams about a message published weeks ago in which he assured that Microsoft, Google, and Amazon were actively searching new studios to acquire, and to a lesser extent, also Electronic Arts -which is about to buy Codemasters- and Sony -of which at least Bluepoint is rumored-.
Jez Corden reinforces the rumor and replies that it is true – Microsoft’s interest in Gearbox.
We are incredibly excited and proud of today’s news that The Gearbox Entertainment Company is joining Embracer Group!
— GearboxOfficial (@GearboxOfficial) February 3, 2021
Gearbox Software is known for Borderlands, Brothers in Arms, and owns the rights to Duke Nukem and Homefront, but they also participated in Valve’s Half-Life with expansions and console adaptations, worked on Counter-Strike, and were responsible for bringing Halo: Combat Evolved to PC.
The gearbox will continue its agreements with 2K Games.
Despite the merger with Embracer, Gearbox has confirmed that it will maintain relationships with 2K Games for the Borderlands saga after the success of Borderlands 3.
The two companies have collaborated with the series, which has seen numerous spin-offs and, shortly, the live-action film; in fact, its producers include Randy Pitchford, executive producer of the games and founder of Gearbox Software, and Strauss Zelnick, president and CEO of Take-Two Interactive.