Online game publisher Nexon (TYO: 3659) announced on Monday that it was acquiring Embark Studios, founded by gaming industry veteran Patrick Söderlund.
Nexon is increasing its existing stake in the studio from 66.1% to 72.8%, with the option to purchase Embark’s remaining shares through Nexon stock over five years. The additional transaction is expected to be ratified at the next extraordinary shareholder meeting scheduled for September.
Nexon describes the acquisition of Embark as a key investment in its Western game development strategy. Patrick Söderlund will remain as head of the Stockholm-based studio and as a Nexon board member. Embark’s integration into the company will “ensure a sharp focus on Nexon’s products developed in North America and Europe.”
“We are very excited about the value and potential that Nexon’s acquisition of Embark unlocks,” said Nexon president and CEO Owen Mahoney in a statement. “Bringing Embark fully into the Nexon family will tightly integrate Nexon’s expertise in live operations and Embark’s capability of creating hit games that resonate globally to powerfully drive and accelerate delivering players great games designed to live on for years.”
Söderlund added, “Embark Studios is at the heart of Nexon’s ambition to create ground-breaking online game experiences that are successful on a global scale, especially outside Nexon’s core Asian markets.”
Based in South Korea, Nexon took a controlling stake in Embark in July, around the same time it withdrew itself from being sold to bidders. The company mainly specializes in online PC games, but it also has a growing mobile game subsidiary called Nexon M. Its portfolio includes the hit strategy game DomiNations. Nexon acquired DomiNations developer Big Huge Games in 2016.
However, unlike Big Huge Games, Embark has not yet published its first game. It is currently working on a yet-to-be-revealed title described as “a cooperative free-to-play action game set in a distant future, about overcoming seemingly impossible odds by working together.”
The studio is also working on a codeless development platform that will allow people without prior programming experience to create their own games.
No details regarding the release of the upcoming game or development platform have been announced yet.