Recently, the owners of Cryptic and PWE have been bought out by Gearbox’s Embracer Group. The original founders of both games left shortly after this buyout and the future for these games is currently unclear.
It seems that it’s time to ask yourself what you think about gaming moving towards blockchain technology? Is it a good or bad thing?
Embracer Group has bought out PWE and Cryptic Studios. The two companies were merged together to create a new company called Gearbox Software. This merger is one of the largest mergers in the gaming industry.
We keep saying that the week before Christmas is just a Friday night of burying last-minute news, and it continues to prove us correct. This time, we have word that Perfect World Entertainment – and, by implication, Cryptic Studios and all of its shared MMORPGs – has been fully bought by Embracer Group AB, or will be after the transaction closes in February. This is essentially Perfect World’s North American and publishing divisions, however the company’s other branches seem to be intact. Embracer invested $125 million in cash and stock to establish them up under the Gearbox Entertainment subsidiary.
Before you freak out, remember that Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford says the company will “invest into the future of Cryptic as an independent, dynamic studio that is passionate about MMOs,” and that the press release praises Neverwinter and Star Trek Online in particular for their success and profitability. The failure of Magic Legends, which PWE shuttered this past autumn before it had even completely launched (resulting in huge layoffs), seems to be the driving force for the sale.
“Upon conclusion of the sale, PWE will operate as a subsidiary of Gearbox Entertainment Company inside the Embracer group, with a continuing emphasis on publishing and developing games.” PWE has 237 full-time workers, including those who work in the publishing division. PWE Publishing and Cryptic Studios will both stay independent under Gearbox Entertainment as a result of Gearbox Entertainment’s purchase of PWE. Gearbox Entertainment’s Publishing branch will benefit from this purchase.
“Cryptic Firms, based in Los Gatos, California, was founded in 2000 and is one of the few studios with expertise launching and maintaining many MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) on a large scale. The studio has a successful track record, with three of the previous four releases attaining significant commercial success. Neverwinter and Star Trek Online are still among the best-performing MMOs, having active player populations. Cryptic has a workforce of 136 people.
“PWE Publishing, located in Redwood City, California, was founded in 2008 and is recognized for publishing high-quality PC and console games based on well-known worldwide entertainment properties such as Cryptic Studios’ Star Trek and Dungeons & Dragons games. In collaboration with Embracer-owned production company Gunfire Games, PWE Publishing’s product catalog also includes the popular Torchlight series and Remnant: From the Ashes. PWE Publishing employs a total of 101 people.
“In 2021, PWE suffered operational losses as a result of Cryptic’s newest MMO (Magic: Legends) being canceled and a break in PWE Publishing’s release schedule. Both Cryptic and PWE Publishing will be substantial financial contributors under Embracer’s leadership, in addition to their strategic value with fresh IP and an MMO capacity that has been lacking from Embracer’s portfolio.
“Cryptic Studios presently runs three long-running MMOs (Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, and Champions Online), all of which have been around for more than 25 years. These titles produce substantial earnings, and Embracer anticipates that the live Cryptic titles will remain strong and consistent in the next years. PWE Publishing has an exciting schedule of future games and is always looking for new possibilities. PWE’s next release from the present slate is set for 2022, followed by five more by 2024. The enterprises are expected to produce net sales of over SEK 700 million in calendar year 2021. This includes money from Cryptic’s discontinued goods.
The deal is expected to provide a breakeven operating EBIT in FY 22/23 and SEK 200-300 million in FY 23/24, according to Embracer Group. These projections do not include any significant commercial or cost synergies.”
This sentence in particular deserves your attention: “PWE’s next launch is slated for 2022, with five further launches by 2024.” The Torchlight mobile game, Torchlight Infinite, which launched beta signups yesterday, is most likely to ship in 2022. We still don’t know what the other five games are.
In any event, it doesn’t seem like there will be significant changes to the current games; the STO team addressed the sell-off to the players this morning, and the Neverwinter and Champs teams followed suit.
“In terms of STO’s day-to-day operations, very little, if anything, will change. The crew remains the same, as does the leadership of both STO and Cryptic Studios, as well as the staff that was formerly at PWE and is now at Gearbox. Basically, once this arrangement is finalized, you should notice very little change in the way our game operates. […] “At this time, there are no plans to end Star Trek Online.”
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Gearbox’s Embracer Group has bought out PWE and Cryptic. This will allow them to make games for both PC and consoles. Reference: embracer acquisition.
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