Embracer Group officially sells Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 developer Saber Interactive — and the sale might include even more


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May 16, 2023
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It is generally good to see the Embracer house of cards getting dismantled but...

Don't be so sure the liberated studios will survive indefinitely off support contracts to bigger companies. That assumes the development *process* will remain unchanged for the next generation of AAA games. As they say in courtroom dramas: "Assumes facts not in evidence."

First, we can expect a move to smaller games that don't make or break a quarter, among the big studios (more PENTIMENT sized shorter, more focused games, and less SKULL AND BONES or GOTHAM KNIGHT sizers) and those games don't require outside support to avoid CRUNCH TIME because their release can comfortably slip until they are truly ready.

Second, to be crass: AI code generators. Support is to a large extent debugging, filler quests, and other kinds of derivative grunt work. Well, again, AI tools can multiply the productivity of a couple inhouse developers to obviate the need for support. Derivative is the wheelhouse for AI tools.

Given the current length of development pipelines, the old ways will persist for a while, but eventually the need to cut costs and reduce development cycle times will reduce, if not end most of the need for external support. Support will come from Inside with new tools and processes.

Finally, now more than ever, IP is king.
Note that embracer sold tbe studio but *kept* the IP. Likewise, TOYS FOR BOB was set free but the IP almost certainly stayed behind.

The path to long term survival is from these newly independent studios depends on they themselves adopting the new tools and processes, developing their own IP, and releasing smaller games themselves to maintain cash flow.

So, Saber and all? Short term: YAY! Good luck!
Longer term? GULP. They'll ned it.

Lean years are in sight. Worse things are coming.

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