Nexon buys Embark Studio of Patrick Söderlund

Nexon announces acquisition of dev studio founded by former DICE CEO

There are many moving parts that make up the video game industry. You have people that work on the public relations side, developers, and your run-of-the-mill office jobs. And just like any other business out there, companies will often make strategic moves in order to advance or grow another business. That seems very much the case when it comes to the recently announced acquisition of Embark Studios by Nexon.

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Why Embark Studios?

There’s a big question as to why a company like Nexon would end up purchasing a newly formed studio such as Embark Studios. It was only earlier this year back in February that news started circulating regarding the studio’s formation. This was mostly due to the founder Patrick Söderlund providing an update on his career since leaving DICE. The former CEO of DICE and employee of Electronic Arts (EA) now finds himself in the heart of Stockholm.

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. – Owen Mahoney, president and CEO of Nexon

What’s next?

There’s a rather big question to answer: What is next for Embark Studios? Back in February Embark established that it was working on a free-to-play space simulation title. There has been no indication at this point though that Nexon will continue this project or if something new will spawn from this relationship. However, if the development was well on its way, the partnership could point to distribution efforts or money transfusions to assist in its progress.

What are your thoughts on the acquisition of Embark Studios by Nexon? Do you think this will turn into something more than just a simple business transaction? As noted on the Embark official website, the company acknowledges its efforts in testing artificial intelligence (AI) in-house: “Our AI team is experimenting with a physically-based system that uses reinforcement learning to create animations. Here’s an example of some walking animations for a spider-robot, created by the learning system without any manual animation work at all.”


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Greg Bargas
A console gamer gone rogue. Collector of retro games, lover of hardware. Find me every Tuesday at 6PM CST on Destructoid's SpotDodge live podcast! Rocket League, anyone?