Gearbox, the studio behind Borderlands, is reportedly up for sale, with studio owner Embracer potentially looking to unload the company as part of its wider restructuring effort. Take-Two, which has a long-standing history with Gearbox as the publisher of the Borderlands series, has naturally arisen as a potential candidate to buy Gearbox. But could it happen? Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked point-blank about this during the company's latest shareholder meeting.
He did not confirm anything one way or the other, but said Gearbox is a "wonderful" company that he's sure will keep making great games in the future.
"We've had a long-term relationship with Gearbox. They're a wonderful company. They've delivered for us, not just Borderlands, but also Tiny Tina's Wonderlands and other titles," Zelnick said (via VGC). "I have no doubt they will continue to be successful in the future. We are thrilled that we have a long-term publishing relationship with them on these titles. That publishing relationship exists without regard to ultimate owner of Gearbox. But with regard to our potential interest, we do not tend to speculate on potential transactions."
In 2022, Take-Two completed the biggest acquisition in the history of video games when it spent $12.7 billion to acquire Zynga. This record will likely fall soon when Microsoft's deal to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion goes through, as it's expected to, in October.
Embracer originally acquired Gearbox for $1.3 billion in 2021, with Take-Two's 2K label remaining the publisher of the Borderlands series. Gearbox becoming an in-house studio at Take-Two would be one of the least shocking gaming buyouts in recent times. The companies have worked together on the blockbuster Borderlands series, Battleborn, and others, but just because a deal might make sense on paper doesn't mean it will happen. After all, Microsoft has expressed a high-level interest in buying Nintendo, but that deal is far from a guarantee.
Take-Two had $776 million in cash and equivalents on hand as of June 30.
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