A Swedish video game giant plans to buy Dark Horse

The third-largest comics publisher in the U.S, Dark Horse, will soon be acquired by Swedish video game holding company Embracer Group.

In a press release issued Tuesday to announce the acquisition, Dark Horse founder and CEO Mike Richardson said he is excited for the future of Dark Horse.

The synergies that exist with the Embracer network of companies  promises exciting new opportunities not only for Dark Horse, but also for the creators and companies we work with.

Founded in 2008 as Nordic Games Publishing AB, the video game publisher rebranded as THQ Nordic in 2016 and began to grow with several purchases, including Koch Media Coffee Stain, expanding its media portfolio. In 2019, the holding company was renamed to Embracer Group, of which THQ Nordic is a subsidiary. Other subsidiaries include video game publishers Saber Interactive, Gearbox Entertainment, DECA Games, Amplifier Game Invest, and Easybrain, each containing subsidiary development studios. 

Earlier this month, Embracer announced it intends to acquire Perfect World Entertainment for $103 million. The North American video game development and publishing subsidiary of Chinese media company Perfect World is to be placed under Gearbox and enhance its publishing division. Embracer also plans to expand into the board game market with its acquisition of the French table-top game publisher Asmodee for €2.75 billion, which formed the holding company’s ninth operational group. 

Dark Horse Media will soon become the holding company’s tenth operative group, bringing with it more than 300 original and licensed IP from its comics publishing division, including The Mask, Time Cop, Star Wars, Avatar the Last Airbender, Stranger Things, and Witcher. Dark Horse also licenses manga, including the monumental shonen series Berserk. Dark Horse Entertainment, its production company, has produced over 40 films and series, including Hellboy and The Umbrella Academy.

The press release acknowledges the “untapped potential” that Dark Horse’s portfolio represents for video game development, “and substantial opportunity for synergies within the Embracer group.”

Embracer says it has no plans for restructuring Dark Horse, which will keep its current CEO. The acquisition is set for an undisclosed purchase price and is estimated to finalize in early 2022.