The Ongoing Collapse of Embracer (nu-THQ)


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Jul 24, 2023
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So we've successfully gone from "hey! THQ's back!" to "what do you mean they bought Lord of the Rings" to "oh they definitely didn't have the money to purchase Lord of the Rings" in the span of like... four or five years.

Volition staff are reporting that their entire studio is being shuttered and I have to imagine that they're the first of many. Economic downturn + not stopping yourself from buying a quarter of the games industry + somehow still not being able to put out a game that scores above 6/10 on average isn't a good mix and it's a pretty sad rerun of how the original THQ died except on a much, much larger scale. I'd call it unbelievable but it really is the only outcome of being just... reckless, y'know.
I'm sure Embracer slowly but surely falling to pieces doesn't help, but it really feels like this was going to happen to Volition one way or another. All people really wanted was more stuff like Saints Row 2 to fill the gap between Rockstar taking literal decades to make GTA games. Instead we got... Agents of Mayhem and that terrible reboot. I feel bad for the devs and hope they land on their feet and all, but I can't act surprised.

don't let all that take away from the fact that the constant stream of acquisitions in the gaming industry is getting kinda horrifying though
Oh yeah, I can't say I'm shocked about Volition being the first domino to fall (and that's not a slight against the devs there). Just a long series of releases that haven't done well... but of course, that also describes most Embracer properties right now.

don't let all that take away from the fact that the constant stream of acquisitions in the gaming industry is getting kinda horrifying though
The scariest thing's gonna be the fire sale when Embracer finally collapses. Whole lot of IPs that will end up getting lost forever when another one of these conglomerates picks em up only to do nothing. Lots that could actually have a future (or deserve to be preserved in ways these companies won't put $ towards) either.
Did you know they bought Gearbox but 2K still publishes the Borderlands games? What a deal! They definitely weren't just swallowing companies to inflate their value so they could sell the whole thing off, right?

nightmare nightmare nightmare
Apparently Gearbox own the IP but also have an agreement to publish with 2K

No idea on the specifics but it's a Microsoft buying Rare and thinking they own Donkey Kong moment for sure
I hope Embracer falls into a woodchipper.

But on a more serious note, seeing Volition shut down was both expected from me but still hearts nonetheless, one of those "end of an era" moments. My main concern is the state of the Saints Row 2 PC patch that they've been working on but all signs from my point of view point to the whole thing being quietly shelved and the hard work of the main dude behind the project (can't remember his name off the top my head) pretty much wasted and in vain.

The whole situation puts a bad taste in my mouth, I'll save my reservations about the modern gaming industry for another day but I really do hope everyone previously at Volition can find new places to get jobs at.