A Swedish video game holding company acquired a major company in American independent comics.
Embracer group announced on Tuesday that it had signed an agreement to acquire Dark Horse Comics, headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Embracer announced a plan to build dark horse, together with several video game developers and a French board game publisher, into its tenth operating group to “strengthen its cross media capabilities”
At the time of writing, the financial details behind the transaction have not been disclosed. Dark horse will retain current CEO Mike Richardson and existing management.
Dark horse, founded by Richardson in bend, Oregon in 1986, is one of the largest comic book publishers in the United States, Its monthly sales volume is only a small part of Marvel comics or DC (independent trackers believe that dark horse controls about 3% of the overall market). For decades, dark horse has occupied a successful position as a publisher of original comics and authorized comics and one of the first translators to translate Japanese comics (comic books) for English audiences.
The original version of embracer points out that dark horse owns or controls more than 300 intellectual property rights, “many of which are attractive for future cross media development, including the development of new video games.”
If a typical geek knows anything about dark horse, it may be time for it to become the main publisher of Official Star Wars comics, many of which are set in the old, pre Disney extended universe. From 1991 to 2015, dark horse published many Star Wars books, and after Disney acquired Lucas film, the copyright of this cartoon returned to marvel.
Dark horse also published a series of mini dramas with the background of alien world and predator films, as well as vampire killer Buffy, barbarian Conan and terminator. The company’s current authorized comics include a comic based on the Netflix series stranger’s things, several volumes of books that expand the story of Avatar: the last Airbender, and a series of books set in the campaign world of dungeons and dragons.
In the video game world, dark horse is a typical publisher of a series of coffee table books, which show the design and conceptual art of various mainstream versions. This line includes “the last of us”, “Legend of the summit”, “far away” and “infinite halo” on December 15.
However, what prompted enclader to acquire seems to be the status of dark horse as one of the main publishers of original and creator comics, many of which have been made into high-profile Hollywood films for many years.
Mike Mignola’s Hellboy tells the story of a Nazi beating up a supernatural investigator who happens to be a big red devil. This film is not much different from a flagship film series of dark horse. It is also the publisher of large independent books, such as Evan dorkin The beast of burden, Frank Miller’s sin city, John akudy’s mask, Gerald way’s umbrella college and Matt Wagner’s Glendale, any or all of these books may be mature materials for video game adaptation, and all of them have been licensed for film / television.
“I cannot express my excitement when the dark horse enters a new chapter in our history,” Richardson wrote in a press release. “The synergy with the hugger network has brought exciting new opportunities not only for the dark horse, but also for the creators and companies we work with. I must say that the future of our company has never been so bright.”
Headquartered in karstad, Sweden, embracer group was founded in 2008 and is a publishing subsidiary of European game retail chains. In 2014, the company acquired these trademarks from THQ, a closed publisher / developer, which became the radar of the game industry and renamed its business “THQ Nordic”. In 2019, the company was renamed embracer group again, and the name of THQ Nordic is currently used by a subsidiary, LLC.
Huggers are on the verge of crazy acquisitions. Earlier this year, embracer acquired gearbox entertainment, a franchise developer of borderlands games, for $1.3 billion.
On the same day that the hugger announced the acquisition of dark horse, it also announced plans to acquire Hungarian animation studio DIGIC, French board game company asmode, the North American subsidiary of Chinese company perfect world, Miami based game developer shiver Entertainment (co founded by John Schappert, former head of Xbox Live) and German advertising company spotfilm.