Embracer Group is ending 2021 on a busy note. The holding company and parent to THQ Nordic (and many others) announced 5 new and upcoming acquisitions today, including brands across game development, comic book publishing, and animation.
It's a sizable batch of acquisitions even for Embracer, a typically prolific company on the M&A front. These latest buys build on its freshly announced €2.75 billion acquisition of Asmodee, and deepens the company's foray into transmedia ventures.
On the strictly game development side of those new acquisitions is the $103 million net cash purchase of Cryptic Studios parent company Perfect World Entertainment, which includes both Cryptic and PWE Publishing, as well as its separate acquisition of Mortal Kombat 11's Switch developer Shiver Entertainment for an undisclosed sum via Embracer's Saber Interactive subsidiary.
While not directly a game company on the surface, today's announcements also include news that Embracer plans to acquire Dark Horse Comics for an undisclosed sum, granting it control of the company's sizable comic book publishing business and an expansive library of 300 intellectual properties. Embracer adds in a press release that the pool of IP that'll come over along with Dark Horse is ripe for "transmedia exploitation," as the company can then leverage those brands into new video game projects down the line.
Other major moves from Embracer today include its acquisition of film and game animation studio animation studio DIGIC, known Netflix's "Love, Death, and Robots", as well as the German advertising-based VOD company Spotfilm Networx. In both cases, purchase prices were not disclosed.
The ink is already dry on several of these deals, including Shiver, Spotfilm, and PWE. Meanwhile, the acquisition of Dark Horse is expected to close in early 2022 and the DIGIC deal is expected to close in Embracer's Q4.
As mentioned earlier on, these latest moves only build on Embracer's sizable acquisition history. This summer, Embracer noted that it had spoken with upwards of 150 companies in 2020 about potential buys. In addition to the upcoming Asmodee buy mentioned above, Embracer has also picked up the likes of Demiurge, Fractured Byte, Ghost Ship, 3D Realms, CrazyLabs, and several others just this year alone.