With 600 employees across six worldwide offices, Saber has largely been a work for hire studio since its formation in 2001, working on the likes of Halo: The Master Chief Collection and The Witcher 3: Complete Edition for Switch.
The initial price of the acquisition is $150 million, but it could rise to $525 million if agreed milestones are achieved. The transaction is expected to close during the second calendar quarter of 2020.
Saber Interactive will become Embracer Group’s fifth operating group—joining Koch Media GmbH/Deep Silver, THQ Nordic GmbH, Coffee Stain AB and Amplifier Game Invest AB—and co-founders and owners, Matthew Karch and Andrey Iones, will become Embracer’s second largest shareholder.
“Saber has been on our radar for a very long time because of their deep history of consistently high-quality work,” said Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors. “Their ambitious moves towards self-funding projects in recent years have been particularly impressive, especially with World War Z, which sold more than three million units.
“While Saber will remain a standalone company within Embracer Group, we look forward to collaborating with them to elevate their ability to create and market premier titles.”
Saber CEO Karch said: “Over the course of 19 years as an independent developer, Saber has had its share of suitors. With Embracer Group, we’ve at last found the perfect partner. We could not be more thrilled to see through the many projects we’ve dreamed of together.”
Id Software’s former studio head, Tim Willits, joined Saber Interactive as its chief creative officer in 2019.
Embracer has 26 internal game development studios and a catalogue of over 150 owned franchises including Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Darksiders, Metro, MX vs ATV, Kingdoms of Amalur, TimeSplitters, and Wreckfest.
Embracer said on Wednesday it had 96 games in development as of December 31, 2019.