If you’re a fan of the games put out by Cryptic Studios or just Gearbox Publishing in general, you probably have not forgotten that Embracer (which owns Gearbox, which owns Cryptic) had a supposedly $2 billion deal fall apart earlier this year. The company has remained mum on the identity of the lost partner, but according to multiple unnamed Axios sources, it was Savvy Games Group – the one that is both based in and funded by the government of Saudi Arabia.
Unfortunately, the sources who explain the partnership have not disclosed the reason why Savvy Games Group walked away from the deal, leaving it in the realm of speculation. Regardless, it’s what set a series of layoffs and restructures among Embracer Group into motion, so it was definitely a major blow to the company’s present and short-term future. This revelation will probably not put a stop to the speculation around this particular failed deal but will switch the vector to being about how it all went south rather than speculating about whom the deal was with.
And in case you’re cheering that Embracer won’t be partnering with the human rights-challenged Saudi royal family, that’s not the case either: The company has already received $1B in investment from the country, a move that was sharply criticized as sportswashing last year when it happened.