GameBaba Universe

Mergers and acquisitions often lead to duplicity of some roles. The purchase of Gearbox Entertainment by Take-Two Interactive was not an exception. A few hours after the announcement that Embracer has divested Gearbox Entertainment, posts about layoffs in the latter started flooding social media platforms.

Gearbox Entertainment And Take-Two Interactive Merger Led To Layoffs

On Thursday, March 28, 2024, Embracer posted that Gearbox Entertainment to Take-Two Interactive for $460 million. The Swedish gaming conglomerate which is drowning in debt said the proceeds of the deal will help to lower its debt profile.

“Today’s announcement marks the result of the final structured divestment process and is an important step in transforming Embracer into the future with notably lower net debt and improved free cash flow,” said Embracer CEO and co-founder Lars Wingefors.

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“Through the transaction, we lower business risk and improve profitability as we transition to becoming a leaner and more focused company. After evaluating several options for Gearbox, I am happy that we have reached a solution that is in the best interest of all stakeholders.”

Embracer was thrown into a debt problem last year after a $2 billion funding deal fell through. The gaming conglomerate announced a restructuring program back in June which led to several layoffs and studio closures. Saints Row developer Volition Games was shut down alongside Free Radical Design, the developer behind TimeSplitters.

Gearbox Entertainment And Take-Two Interactive Merger Led To Layoffs

“As a significant long-term Embracer Group shareholder, I believe in the strategy for the Embracer Group going forward and am completely convinced that this transaction is the best possible scenario and an obvious net positive arrangement for Embracer Group, for Take-Two and, of course, for Gearbox Entertainment,” said Gearbox Entertainment CEO Randy Pitchford in reaction to the Embracer divestment deal.

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Embracer will hold onto Gearbox Publishing San Francisco, Cryptic Studios, Lost Boys Interactive, and Captured Dimensions at the close of the deal, as well as several announced and unannounced titles.

The number of Gearbox Entertainment impacted is unclear

Gearbox Entertainment And Take-Two Interactive Merger Led To Layoffs

According to numerous LinkedIn posts sighted by GameBaba Universe, several employees were laid off from Gearbox Entertainment. At the time of writing, the exact number of employees made redundant is still unclear. However, several employees have posted on social media that they have been notified by the company that their roles were made redundant.

Former PR manager of Gearbox Publishing Jennifer Locke announced that her role has been made redundant along with many others—although she still has around a month to spend at the company. “Along with countless others, I’ve been informed I’m being laid off as part of the merger with Gearbox Entertainment and Take-Two Interactive,” wrote Locke. “It’s been the privilege of a lifetime working with this group and I can honestly say it was a dream come true.”

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“Unfortunately, I was informed today that my job role is being eliminated as a result of some of the restructuring changes currently underway at Gearbox Entertainment,” wrote former director of IT at Gearbox Entertainment Michael Musick. “Gearbox has cultivated a treasure trove of talented, wonderful teams and individuals over the past several years that would be a boon to anyone fortunate enough to hire them!”

Gearbox Entertainment And Take-Two Interactive Merger Led To Layoffs

Character design and concept artist Asia Ashley was also impacted by the layoff. On LinkedIn, Ashley wrote, “As of today, I have been let go from Gearbox Entertainment. It was completely unexpected, but as one door closes, another one opens. I could sit and cry about it, sure, but nobody has time for that. As of this moment, I am officially #OpentoWork.”

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Several other people who used to work at Gearbox Entertainment including social media manager Semhar Michial, public relations and communications professional Steve Prince, accessibility specialist and UX researcher Michelle Garza, brand manager Abelina Villegas, and human resources generalist Rachel Brandford all made posts confirming they have been notified of their layoff.

GameBaba Universe has included links to the profiles of all the people mentioned in this post so that anyone with an open opportunity can easily reach out to them. Best of luck to all the impacted in their future endeavors.