Embracer Group has laid off over 900 people in the last three months but reports "one of our strongest quarters for new releases ever"

Payday 3, Dead Island 2 and Remnant 2 in tryptych
(Image credit: Gunfire Games / Deep Silver Dambuster Studios / Starbreeze Studios )

Embracer Group, the Swedish video game and media holding corporation responsible for a wide range of intellectual properties and game studios, has announced that it's laid off a total of 900 employees over the past three months.

Despite these losses, Embracer has still reported a 13 percent year-on-year increase in net sales over the second quarter of 2023 (July to September). In its latest earnings report, the holding corporation announced that it's seen a five percent decrease in sales across its PC and console games portfolio. That said, the report also claims that the last three months have been one of the "strongest quarters for new releases ever" (via RockPaperShotgun).

Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors stated in the report that "over the past two years, our internally developed games have had [returns] over twice as high compared to externally developed games." 

On the subject of titles released under the Embracer umbrella, Wingefors noted that Remnant 2 had done well for the conglomerate, selling over two million copies. Dead Island 2 also received praise, with the CEO complimenting the "successful release" of the zombie-fuelled action game. By contrast, Wingefors remarked that Starbreeze Studios's heist-oriented FPS Payday 3 had "seen a mixed reception and performance." This checks out, given the game's struggles with technical issues.

Characters looking out over a river during sunrise

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Despite the rosy picture painted in Embracer's quarterly report, its subsidiaries have suffered from heavy layoffs. The recent move towards "restructuring" has seen hundreds lose their livelihoods. 

Embracer has reportedly threatened to shut down Free Radical Design, the studio behind classic shooter TimeSplitters with closure while flat-out closing Volition, the developer of Saints Row. Employees at Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics were also laid off back in September. Reports have also emerged that Embracer is looking to sell Borderlands developer Gearbox

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Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent. 

Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure. 

Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.