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Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch has defended Embracer's controversial mass acquisition strategy, which, last we checked, had resulted in the loss of some 1,400 jobs and the cancellation of 29 unannounced games. Karch made the comments in a new interview with IGN (thanks, Eurogamer) following Saber's complicated but amicable separation from the company, which he described as being "bittersweet".

Embracer had been stockpiling studios and IP for years, which Karch compared to Pac-Man "gobbling up everything on the screen", and that the "market lost patience", which is where the company ultimately ran into trouble. Despite that, Karch staunchly stands by the personal character of Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors: "He loves IP. He loves games. He loves game developers.... he's just a good human being, and he cares about his people."

Embracer earned its current reputation by acquiring too much too quickly and playing fast-and-loose with the livelihoods of thousands. Karch acknowledges this ("I was walking around GDC getting congratulated by people and having people telling me that Embracer is the evil empire") but offers an alternative viewpoint.

"You could state that a lot of the jobs that were lost were jobs that wouldn't have otherwise been created. Some of the studios that we're taking with us would never have been able to grow the way they've grown. No way. We've created a lot of jobs, and they may have, especially in this market downturn, been out of business in any event because capital has just dried up, not just at Embracer but everywhere. There was a long period of time when nobody was investing at all."

Karch admits that Wingefors may indeed count naivety as a fault, but there is still much to admire about the man: "I think you can blame Lars for maybe being a little bit naive that this gravy train would just continue. But I think now you could admire them for making tough decisions and doing whatever they can to preserve as much of what they've built as they can in a fair and equitable way. I think some people saw those acquisitions and were annoyed by Embracer when they were acquiring. I remember a lot of negative comments about them gobbling everything up. And so now they're a little bit gleeful, which I don't think is entirely equitable. But give Lars a break or have somebody give him a break. Tell the world that I said they need to give this guy a break."

What do you think of Karch's comments and Wingefor's decisions? Let us know in the comments section below.

[source ign.com, via eurogamer.net]