Embracer Group, the enormous holding company notorious for buying up studios and IP, is preparing for a significant restructure. In order to "realize untapped potential in Embracer Group and better optimize the use of our resources", the conglomerate is set to make some sweeping changes which, sadly, include layoffs, studio closures, and project cancellations.
Currently, there's no mention how severe these cutbacks will be. In an open letter from CEO Lars Wingefors, it's said the company employs nearly 17,000 people. That figure "will be lower by the end of the year", but it's apparently "too early to give an exact forecast on this". Similarly, it's not yet been disclosed which studios and games will be shut down and cancelled, although it looks like anything currently announced is safe. The open letter also states Embracer will look to "provide opportunities for our colleagues to transition onto other projects".
Here's Embracer's list of key areas of change:
- Matthew Karch appointed interim Chief Operating Officer, and Phil Rogers appointed interim Chief Strategy Officer, to co-lead the program planning and implementation
- Reduction of general overhead, corporate, publishing and SG&A costs
- The closing of studios and termination of projects, that have not yet been announced and with low projected returns
- Creation of a more comprehensive, centralized process for game investment and progress review, while maintaining creative freedom
- Consolidation of companies and businesses, including review of operative group structures
- Reduction of investments into external development with greater focus on internal development based on owned or controlled IP
- Increased external funding of internally developed, large-budget games
- Renewed focus on the Group’s main business areas
- Implementing a centralized and standardized, more data-driven and precise approach to game forecasting
Embracer Group houses several major publishing arms such as THQ Nordic, Plaion (previously Koch Media), Gearbox Entertainment, and many others. Each of these has multiple development studios underneath it, with notable teams including Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, 3D Realms, Gearbox Software, and Aspyr Media. At the end of last year, it was stated that Embracer Group plans to release 234 games by March 2026.
"Embracer was founded on the values of trust, a long-term mindset, and a desire to embrace different perspectives," Wingefors says. "As difficult as some of the decisions we will take over the coming weeks and months will be, we are doing this because we are confident that we will emerge a stronger, more efficient company setting out on a stable future to build even greater value across our many studios and fantastic portfolio of IPs."