Gearbox, the studio behind Borderlands, is reportedly available for purchase, with studio owner Embracer potentially seeking to offload the company as part of its broader restructuring endeavor. Take-Two, which has a longstanding history with Gearbox as the publisher of the Borderlands series, has naturally emerged as a potential suitor to acquire Gearbox. However, the question remains: will it actually happen? Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick was directly asked about this during the company’s most recent shareholder meeting.
While Zelnick did not provide a definitive answer, he did express admiration for Gearbox, describing it as a “fantastic” company that he believes will continue to produce exceptional games in the future.
“We have maintained a long-term partnership with Gearbox. They are an outstanding company. They have not only delivered for us with Borderlands, but also with Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands and other titles,” Zelnick stated. “I have full confidence that they will continue to achieve success in the future. We are delighted to have a long-term publishing relationship with them for these titles. This publishing relationship remains unaffected by the ultimate ownership of Gearbox. However, in terms of our potential interest, we do not engage in speculation regarding potential transactions.”
In 2022, Take-Two completed the largest acquisition in the history of the gaming industry by spending $12.7 billion to acquire Zynga. This record is expected to be surpassed soon when Microsoft’s $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, which is anticipated to be finalized in October, comes to fruition.
Embracer initially acquired Gearbox for $1.3 billion in 2021, with Take-Two’s 2K label remaining as the publisher of the Borderlands series. If Gearbox were to become an in-house studio at Take-Two, it would not be a surprising gaming acquisition in recent times. The two companies have collaborated on the immensely popular Borderlands series, as well as Battleborn and other projects. However, just because a deal appears logical on paper does not guarantee its realization. For instance, Microsoft has expressed interest in acquiring Nintendo at a high level, but that particular deal is far from certain.
As of June 30, Take-Two had $776 million in cash and equivalents readily available.