Embracer Group doesn’t seem happy with the performance of Saints Row, as Dead Island 2 is delayed yet again.
Despite going on a spending spree that makes Microsoft’s shopping habits seems reserved, Swedish company Embracer Group is still something most gamers have never even heard of. That’s because, unlike their high profile purchase of Tomb Raider, most of their acquisitions have been of smaller companies, like Saints Row maker Volition and Dead Island publisher Deep Silver.
According to their latest financial results though neither of those two purchases have necessarily gone that well, as they’ve announced that Volition is being moved to be a part of Borderlands developer Gearbox.
It’s not entirely clear what that means but according to Embracer the game only ‘performed in line with management expectations’, even as they note its mixed reception with fans and critics (we certainly didn’t think it was very good).
The worst case scenario for Volition would be that they become a support studio for Gearbox, helping out on Borderlands and whatever else they’re making.
At the moment though it’s impossible to tell what will happen, as this sort of thing is rare in the video games industry – even though Embracer is warning they might do the same thing with other developers.
That smacks of consolidation, which is certainly common after an acquisition, but Embracer has also said they might spin-off some of their purchases into separate companies. It didn’t say which ones though, so it’s unclear if it would be video game businesses or perhaps some of the other random companies they’ve bought recently, such as Dark Horse Comics and Middle-Earth Enterprises.
Things aren’t going that bad for Embracer – their profits have seen an increase over the last six months – but like anyone they’re worried about the economy and the fact that spending money on video games is not going to be most people’s priority for a while.
As for Dead Island 2, it’s been in development for almost a decade now, at one studio or another, so a few more months is just a drop in the ocean.
No specific reason was given for the delay, but current developer Dambuster Studios insist that the game is almost finished and that a new trailer and gameplay footage will be shown during a special livestream on December 6.
The official release date for Dead Island 2, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC is April 28… for now at least.
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