Embracer Group acquires 3D Realms, Grimfrost, Slipgate Ironworks, and several more companies – the company announced in a barrage of news this morning.
In total, Embracer Group acquires 3D Realms, Grimfrost, Slipgate Ironworks, DigixArt, Force Field, Easy Trigger, Ghost Ship Games, and CrazyLabs – a total of eight new companies for their growing portfolio.
Here’s a rundown on each company, via Embracer Group:
The history tracks back to 1987 in Texas, USA, where the company was originally founded as Apogee Software, focused on developing PC games. The studio rebranded in 1994 to 3D Realms and has been involved in the development of +40 games including the creation of the legendary Duke Nukem franchise. In 2014, the Danish company SDN Invest acquired 3D Realms and since then 3D Realms has been led by CEO Mike Nielsen and VP Frederik Schreiber, currently engaging a team of 7 employees and a few additional contractors. Since 2014, following a relocation to Aalborg, Denmark and a strategic shift towards publishing, 3D Realms has published six new game titles in collaboration with respected independent developers for both PC and console. The studio has a current pipeline of six new game titles and several exciting projects in collaboration with Slipgate Ironworks.
Through the acquisition, Saber onboards a connected, experienced publisher with a long background in games development. Going forward, 3D Realms will continue to operate as a subsidiary under Saber and work closely with the Saber team on publishing projects.
Grimfrost, founded in 2014, is a leader within high-quality Viking merchandise. Its headquarters are located in Karlstad, Sweden and employs approx.12 FTEs. Primary business model is B2C, but Grimfrost also supplies costumes and assets for TV and movie productions (e.g. Game of Thrones, Vikings), and reproductions for museums (B2B). As of now, the biggest market is the US representing approx. 60% of sales. In addition, Grimfrost has a strong brand and community with over +1 million followers on Facebook.
Through the acquisition, Embracer onboards an experienced team that will provide Embracer with significant knowledge within global B2C e-commerce. Through the partnership, Embracer will facilitate Grimfrost to better position itself for international markets, team expansion and product development, enabling Grimfrost to capitalize on current potential and unmet demand. Grimfrost’s expertise caters for further collaboration opportunities with other entities within Embracer Group such as GOE Distribution. Grimfrost will operate as a subsidiary to Embracer and report under the Partner Publishing and Film division.
Slipgate was founded in 2017 by Frederik Schreiber, who together with Kent Christoffersen has built up a strong team with extensive and diverse experiences from the games industry. The founder-led company has a team of 100+ total staff, including a handful of contractors, comprised of dedicated developers, industry veterans and new talent in Denmark, across Europe and in the US. The team has proven capable of high-quality new game development, third-party titles, and porting projects across various genres and for PC and console and with a particular passion for retro shooters. Slipgate has a long-standing history of collaborating with companies within the Embracer Group, primarily Saber and THQ Nordic, and will work on a very compelling project pipeline for the foreseeable future. Notable recent projects where Slipgate has been involved in development and porting include Ghostrunner, the original IP GRAVEN and an upcoming AA porting project from THQ Nordic. The company was wholly owned by the sellers Frederik and Kent who will both remain in their current roles. Going forward, Slipgate will operate as a subsidiary to Saber.
After 14 years within the game industry, Yoan Fanise and Anne-Laure Fanise founded DigixArt in 2015 in Montpellier, France. Digixart is today an award-winning and profitable games development studio with 20+ employees. The team consists of veterans from the AAA industry as well as young talented developers and with experience in mobile, PC and console games development.
The studio has proven capabilities of creating and developing original IP and through the acquisition, Embracer strengthens its position in the growing sector of narrative games.
Going forward, the team will continue to focus on development of new IPs and with support from Koch Media and Embracer, will look to grow the team. The company was owned to 95 percent by the sellers Yoan and Anne-Laure who will both remain in their current roles. DigixArt will continue to operate as an independent studio under Koch Media.
Force Field is a technologically advanced AAA VR development studio founded in 2015, with headquarters located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The studio has a team of approx. 65 employees with extensive experience from working on innovative game development projects and offers a growing portfolio of high-end VR games launched on platforms globally. The team has also developed VR experiences such as National Geographic Explore and Anne Frank’s House in VR. Force Field is led by co-founder and CEO Arthur Houtman and Creative Director Martin de Ronde, that will remain in their current roles. The company was owned by a combination of current management, co-founders and financial investors
Through the acquisition, Vertigo Games onboards an experienced team that enables increased 1st party AAA VR development capabilities to fuel rapid growth in the VR market. Going forward, Force Field will operate as an independent subsidiary to Vertigo Games and continue to produce innovative and creative VR titles.
Easy Trigger is a development studio founded in 2016, with headquarters located in Trollhättan, Sweden. The studio consists of 5 employees that have collaborated with Coffee Stain on the development and release of the critically acclaimed indie title Huntdown. Easy Trigger is led by co-founder and CEO Tommy Gustafsson, and co-founder and lead programmer Andreas Renberg. The company was wholly owned by the two co-founders who will remain in their current roles post-transaction.
Through the acquisition, Coffee Stain onboards a talented team that will boost the development of 1st party IP within the group. Going forward, Easy Trigger will collaborate with Coffee Stain to continue working on the Huntdown IP as well as creating new original indie titles.
Ghost Ship Games
Ghost Ship Games is a Danish development studio founded by six industry veterans in 2016, with headquarters located in Copenhagen. The studio engages 26 employees that have worked with Coffee Stain on the development of the critically acclaimed co-op FPS game Deep Rock Galactic. Recently in March 2021, the game was awarded ‘Indie Game of the Year’ and ‘Excellence in Multiplayer’ at the SXSW 2021 Gaming Awards. Ghost Ship Games is led by co-founder and CEO Søren Lundgaard, and co-founder and Creative Director Mikkel Martin Pedersen who will remain in their current roles post-transaction.
Through the acquisition, Coffee Stain onboards an experienced team with proven capabilities of creating excellent indie IP. Ghost Ship Games will remain autonomous and Embracer and Coffee Stain look forward to supporting the studio with new game development projects going forward.
While Embracer Group acquires 3D Realms, the most recent large acquisition Embracer Group announced and completed was their acquisition of Gearbox Software, which they did alongside several other acquisitions like Aspyr Media and Easybrain.