Dark Horse Comics, Dark Horse Entertainment, and the retail chain Thing From Another World were all purchased as part of the deal.
Embracer, located in Sweden, bought 80% of the firm from “a vendor based in Hong Kong and China,” most likely Vanguard Visionary Associates.
Dark Horse creator and publisher Mike Richardson, who will continue at the helm of the firm, sold the remaining 20% of the company.
Following recent speculations of an acquisition, it was confirmed today that Embracer, a European gaming business, will purchase Dark Horse, North America’s third biggest comics publisher. The deal’s terms have not been disclosed, but it is expected to close in 2022.
The buyer is a holding company that has nine other “operating groups” including gaming companies THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, Deep Silver, and Koch Media. They have been on a buying spree of late and recently acquired the prominent board game company Asmodee, with a rumored purchase price of nearly $3 billion.
While news of any acquisition can conjure visions of new methods and layoffs, Embracer’s business model is to allow its units to operate fairly independently, so Dark Horse should see little immediate change when the deal goes through. In a statement, Richardson expressed enthusiasm for the deal:
Through the acquisition, Embracer strengthens its transmedia capabilities by adding expertise in content development, comics publishing, and film & TV production. Dark Horse owns or controls more than 300 intellectual properties, many of which can build a strong foundation for the future development of transmedia IPs and the opportunity to cross-fertilise IP and strengthen licensing partnerships across PC, console, VR and mobile.
“I can’t express the excitement I feel as Dark Horse moves into this new chapter in our history. The synergies that exist with the Embracer network of companies promises exciting new opportunities not only for Dark Horse, but also for the creators and companies we work with. I’ve had a number of compelling conversations with Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors and I’m very impressed with him and what he and his team have built. I have to say, the future for our company has never looked brighter,” says Mike Richardson, founder and CEO of Dark Horse.
Although Dark Horse has traditionally been a home for independent comics creators, and it’s listed as owning more than 300 IPs , in recent years their biggest sellers were gaming art books. Obviously there is a huge potential tie-in there between all the gaming brands Embracer now controls – and tons of other synergies.