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Borderlands developer Gearbox Software reportedly close to parting ways with Embracer Group Dot Esports

As Embracer Group continues down the path of downsizing and shutting down studios, one studio may be in luck. The developer of the Borderlands series, Gearbox Software, is reportedly close to selling and thus breaking away from Embracer, sources told Kotaku.

“Gearbox is closer than ever to being sold out,” Kotaku reported on Feb. 29. According to the report, the company’s chief executive, Randy Pitchford, held a meeting with employees where he informed them of a decision made regarding the studio. Though details remain scarce, sources told Kotaku that “more information is to be shared next month.” Kotaku also reported that Pitchford had been telling developers for a while that there are three options for the Borderlands studio, including selling, staying, or going independent, with the first one being the most likely.

A Psycho poses in front of a wall of guns, with the Borderlands 3 Logo in front.
Borderlands 3 is Gearbox’s latest, with a fourth title allegedly in development. Image via Gearbox

Randy Pitchford responded to Kotaku’s inquiry with a vague message containing no clear stance regarding the alleged decision made to sell the studio. He added that Gearbox will share any news or announcements when they have them. Pitchford recently spoke of a game in the works at Gearbox software, which could potentially be Borderlands 4, but didn’t provide much detail. Whether or not said game will be impacted by a potential sale remains to be seen.

Gearbox’d status as part of the crumbling Embracer Group has been a point of discussion for a while now, prompting a Reuters report in September last year which claimed Embracer was looking at all the options, including selling the studio. Information has remained relatively scarce and Embracer nonetheless focused on its downsizing and cutting efforts with numerous layoffs and full studio closures. The company’s contribution to the massive and ever-increasing layoff toll, as well as its closures, have tarnished its reputation, with some even labeling it as the worst company in gaming. Embracer has closed seven studios and canceled nearly 30 games (thanks GamesRadar) in just the second half of 2023.

Andrej Barovic

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