World War Z developer Saber Interactive to join Embracer Group for $525 million


Embracer Group has agreed to acquire Saber Interactive, the video game developer behind last year’s World War Z game.

Based in the US, Saber Interactive has almost 600 developers across several studios in countries like Portugal and Sweden. And World War Z has sold millions of copies thus far, proving gamers have really taken to this online multiplayer game based on the hit 2013 movie starring Brad Pitt.

Embracer’s CEO Lars Wingefors praised Saber and said he looked forward to collaborating with the video game company.

“Saber has been on our radar for a very long time because of their deep history of consistently high-quality work. … 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 Wingefors in a press release.

Meanwhile, Matthew Karch, CEO of Saber Interactive said that while his company had had its “share of suitors” it finally had found the “perfect partner” in Embracer Group.

Embracer’s initial payment amounts to $150 million US dollars, but it will dish out an additional $375 million if certain objectives are met, meaning the total cost of the acquisition could be as high as $525 million.

An impressive figure for sure, but Candy Crush Saga maker King was bought for almost $6 billion US dollars back in 2015, even if what Embracer is paying for Saber Interactive is still a lot of money to pay for a video game studio no doubt. This also dwarfs what Embracer Group (which was known as THQ Nordic AB back then) paid for Warhorse Studios in February last year, the people behind controversial video game Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

Aside from Saber Interactive and Warhorse Studios, Embracer Group has picked up several other video game companies and video game IPs including Deep Silver and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, amongst others.

And Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors’ praise for Saber Interactive sure is deserved. Actually, the company had a busy 2019. Aside from releasing the successful World War Z game, the video game developer also put out a Nintendo Switch version of The Witcher 3, sales of which spiked recently due to the success of Netflix’s Witcher TV show.

It also worked on another two Nintendo Switch ports (Call of Cthulhu and Vampyr) for Focus Home Interactive. However, it’s unlikely Saber will be working on more ports Focus Home Interactive now that it’s under the wing of Embracer Group though, something the French publisher might not like so much.

Another question, though, is whether Saber Interactive can still thrive now that it’s become part of Embracer Group?

Saber will remain a standalone company within Swedish group Embracer, and will now have more resources to develop exciting video game projects (including a sequel to first-person shooter Killing Floor it’s now working on with another studio), so hopefully we’ll be seeing great things in the months to come from the US-based video game company.