Saber Interactive officially splits from Embracer Group

Saber Interactive is no longer an Embracer Group studio, following a major buyout deal.
star wars knights of the old republic saber interactive

Saber Interactive, the studio behind the long-gestating Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake, has officially split from Embracer Group in a deal reportedly worth up to USD $500 million. The company has technically been sold to a private investment group known as Beacon Interactive, but this is controlled by Saber Interactive co-founder Matthew Karch, so it’s more accurate to label this a firm split.

Per reports, Beacon Interactive purchased Saber Interactive and its studios – Nimble Giant, 3D Realms, Sandbox Strategies, Mad Head Games, New World Interactive, and others – for a total of USD $247 million, with the option to purchase 4A Games and Zen Studios for additional investment. Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier has claimed Saber Interactive took this option, thus the assumed USD $500 million cost.

Around 38 game projects will transfer to Saber Interactive as part of this divestment. The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake is reportedly still in development, with ownership transferred to Saber Interactive – and this presumably also includes the Star Wars licensing rights from Disney.

Read: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake existence in contention

Embracer Group has held on to some Saber Interactive’s assets in the transaction, including studios Tripwire, Aspyr, and Beamdog, and the franchise rights for A4’s Metro series. It has also retained the publishing rights for 14 Saber Interactive games, including a new Metro title, a “previously announced AAA game based on a major license” assumed to be Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and more.

“I am pleased that we have found a win-win solution for Embracer and the parts of Saber that now will leave us. This transaction puts both companies in a stronger position to thrive going forward,” Lars Wingefors, co-founder and Group CEO of Embracer Group said of the transaction.

“This is the first transaction of the previously mentioned structured processes and marks a small but important step in our journey to transform Embracer into the future for the benefit of all employees, gamers, and shareholders.”

Matthew Karch, co-founder of Saber Interactive also shared a positive statement about the split, claiming it will allow Saber to “safeguard the livelihoods of hundreds of professionals” into the future.

“Over the past four years, I have been proud to be part of Embracer’s amazing transformation into one of the leading game companies in the world. As part of the company’s efforts to reorganise for a changed industry and geopolitical challenges, we jointly felt it was the right decision for both Embracer and the core of Saber to part ways,” Karch said.

As Wingefors makes clear, this is just the “first transaction” in Embracer Group’s ongoing divestment program, which has already forced the shut down of studios including Free Radical Design and Volition. Other studios including Gearbox are reportedly up for sale, and their future will be made clear over the coming year.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.