In an unexpected move today, THQ Nordic’s parent company, Embracer Group, has purchased the Little Nightmares developer Tarsier Studios. The acquisition includes the studio, all 65 current employees, and intellectual property rights.
Embracer/THQ Nordic announced that it had bought Tarsier for an estimated $9.3 million in cash and $1.2 million in shares. Tarsier’s buyout also includes “a conditional earn-out, payable over 10-years to certain sellers who will remain with Tarsier.”
Tarsier was founded in 2004 and has developed several puzzle-platformers since then, including DLC for both LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet 2, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita, and Tearaway Unfolded. The studio is best known for the 2017 horror puzzle-platformer Little Nightmares, which received an 8/10 in our review. Tarsier is currently working on Little Nightmares II, expected to launch on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One sometime next year.
Tarsier said it’s looking forward to the newly-established partnership with Embracer and that it can continue to develop its potential as a studio with Embracer’s support. “It feels exciting to, after a 15-year long journey with Tarsier, partner up with Embracer to continue [to] develop the potential that our Studio has,” said studio head Andreas Johnsson. “We look forward to the opportunity to continue making exceptionally great games together with Embracer Group.”
Embracer shared a similar sentiment, saying it’s impressed with Tarsier’s output as a developer and plans to invest in the studio’s projects. “Together with Tarsier, we want to invest in developing new projects, in the same manner they have done successfully in the past,” said co-founder and group CEO Lars Wingefors. “We look forward to, together with management and all of Tarsier’s employees, embrace the quality and creativity the Studio has, and take the Studio to the next level.”
2019 was filled with a plethora of acquisitions, from Microsoft buying Rad developer Double Fine to Epic Games picking up Rocket League maker Psyonix. Alongside Tarsier Studios, THQ Nordic also bought Warhorse Studios earlier this year, the Czech team behind the 2018 action-RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
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