Take-Two is buying Gearbox, says Borderlands 4 is in the works

Borderlands 3

Take-Two has confirmed this morning that it’s buying Gearbox Entertainment from Embracer Group for $460 million. The acquisition will include most of Gearbox’s IP including the highly popular and globally recognized Borderlands franchise.

It won’t include everything tied to the Gearbox name though. “The acquisition is anticipated to be completed during the first quarter of Take-Two’s Fiscal Year 2025 (ended June 30, 2024), and is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals. The transaction excludes certain third-party publishing and other assets that Take-Two deemed non-core to its business,” Take-Two says in an official press release.

The third-party publishing assets that are deemed “non-core” to the business refer to Gearbox Publishing San Francisco, which Embracer Group will be keeping. This means Embracer will still own the rights to franchises like Remnant, as well as the publishing rights to Hyperlight Breaker. Emracer is also keeping Cryptic Studios, Lost Boys Interactive, and Captured Dimensions. All told, Take-Two is hanging onto what Gearbox is most well-known for. Which is Borderlands, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Homeworld, and Duke Nukem among other franchises.

Take-Two buying Gearbox leads to layoffs the same day

Take-Two buying Gearbox from Embracer Group is no doubt a good thing for the future of Gearbox as a whole. But it’s not a good thing for everyone involved. Take-Two says that Gearbox will operate within 2K and that Gearbox founder and CEO Randy Pitchford will continue as the head of the company. A few hours after the acquisition agreement was announced, multiple people from Gearbox Publishing staff were informed they were being let go.

Gearbox Publishing’s former PR Manager Jennifer Locke posted on X that she was let go “along with countless others.” Former CRM Manager for Gearbox Publishing Mallie Rust also took to X to share the news. Stating that the majority of their teams were laid off as part of this shift. It’s the same story that’s been the case within the game industry for the past year. Sony laid off about 900 employees from across its PlayStation arm back on February 27. EA laid off about 650 employees around the same time.

This is also after scores of layoffs from other studios. Including Ubisoft, Bungie, and many others. It’s been a disheartening trend that has persisted for well over 12 months. Preceded by studios hiring hundreds of employees and then deciding the best way to cut costs was to fire all their new talent.

Borderlands 4 confirmed to be in development

Take-Two doesn’t give many details. However, during the acquisition announcement, it does state that Gearbox has multiple projects going. This includes a new Borderlands sequel, which is very likely Borderlands 4 seeing as Borderlands 3 was the last major game in the franchise. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is technically part of that universe. But it’s its own franchise and not tied to the mainline Borderlands story.

In addition to a new Borderlands sequel, Gearbox is also working on a new Homeworld sequel. As well as “one exciting new IP,” Take-Two says. In total, Gearbox has six key projects that are in various stages of development.

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