THQ Nordic parent buys The Witcher 3 Nintendo Switch developer Saber Interactive

In a deal worth up to $525m.

The parent company of THQ Nordic has bought Saber Interactive, the studio behind the recent The Witcher 3 Nintendo Switch port and World War Z in a deal worth up to $525m.

Embracer Group bought Saber for an initial $150m, with a maximum earnout of $375m, depending on certain milestones. Saber has more than 600 employees across six offices.

Saber Interactive will become Embracer Group’s fifth operating group and Saber Interactive’s co-founders and owners, Matthew Karch and Andrey Iones, will jointly become Embracer Group’s second largest shareholder. Karch and Iones have committed to remaining employed within the company for at least six years.

“Saber has been on our radar for a very long time because of their deep history of consistently high-quality work. Their ambitious moves towards self-funding projects in recent years have been particularly impressive, especially with World War Z, which sold more than 3m units. While Saber will remain a standalone company within Embracer Group, we look forward to collaborating with them to elevate their ability to create and market premier titles,” said Embracer boss Lars Wingefors.

Saber is known for its work-for-hire projects, and Embracer’s note to press mentioned it’s working on four announced and eight unannounced projects. Recently it’s done work for French publisher Focus Home Interactive (the Switch versions of Call of Cthulhu and Vampyr, and MudRunner sequel SnowRunner). THQ Nordic and Focus Home Interactive are direct competitors in the AA space, so you imagine Focus won’t be thrilled with the deal.

Meanwhile, Embracer, via its subsidiary Koch Media, has bought Voxler, the French developer of Let’s Sing.

The wonderfully named Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch Media, said: “We are delighted to welcome the team from Voxler to the family. After a long relationship in publishing across selected Koch territories, the acquisition is a natural step to further extend and expand our product portfolio in specialised segments of the gaming and entertainment market.

“I am sure that the combined knowledge of our companies will open new opportunities within the music gaming market and underlines our growth ambitions as global entertainment content provider across all genres, target groups and distribution channels.”

Embracer owns a huge number of development studios, including Little Nightmares maker Tarsier, Saints Row developer Volition and Goat Simulator creator Coffee Stain.

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