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Patrick Soderlund's Embark Studios has been acquired by Nexon

Published: 13:40, 08 July 2019
Nexon
Logo of the Korean publisher Nexon
Nexon

EA's former chief design officer Patrick Soderlund has left EA in August 2018 and quickly established Embark Studios, with whom he claimed he had 'big plans, but it seems those plans will have to be discussed with their new owner - Nexon.

Note that the Korean publishing giant and free-to-play specialist Nexon has always been part of Soderlund's project, as the publisher previously commanded a 32.8 per cent share in Embark Studios. 

This number is now up to 66.1 per cent, making Nexon's stake in Soderlund's company a commanding one. Embark will, therefore, be a consolidated subsidiary of the former, helping them strengthen Nexon's portfolio of games on the Western online market.

"Embark Studios is a Stockholm-based game development studio founded by industry leader Patrick Soderlund to create new types of interactive entertainment and simulated virtual online worlds enabled by massive leaps in technology. Embark will bring Nexon one of the world's most successful game development teams comprised of talent responsible for globally successful franchises. Nexon's expertise in making online games that thrive for many years will super-charge Embark's projects", the announcement reads.

As part of the deal, Soderlund will remain on Nexon's board of directors, a position he was granted when the first investment was made, and it seems that everyone's delighted with how things went. 

"Having joined Nexon's board earlier this year, I'm particularly impressed by their patient attitude to game development and the decade-long relationships that Nexon's games have maintained with millions of players", Soderlund said, adding, "We have a fundamentally similar world-view. Both our companies know that game development needs an overhaul, and we're both convinced that new technology, methodologies, and perspectives will completely reshape what games can become."

Embark Studios picture showing a futuristic character and landscapes Early artwork from the new game

You could argue that Soderlund's departure from EA after 12 years has been timed to perfection, and his decision to leave in spite of EA's generous retention-encouraging bonuses has proven to be almost prophetic. In the wake of his departure, bad financial results prompted EA's CEO and executives to decline cash bonuses , but that and Battlefield V are no longer Soderlund's problem.

You can find the official announcement here (PDF).

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