The Nerd Side Of Life

Dark Horse Comics Purchased by Embracer Group

Even though Marvel and DC Comics are the biggest names in the comic book industry, they aren’t the only ones. Many a fan would be quick to point out the existence of Image Comics, which is home to “The Walking Dead,” “Invincible,” and “Spawn” among others. Perhaps the next biggest after that is Dark Horse, responsible for titles like “Hellboy,” “The Mask,” and “Sin City.” While they may never reach the height of Marvel or DC, they’re popular (and successful) enough to have just been purchased by the Embracer Group.

So who is the Embracer Group? Well, for a very brief history lesson, let’s go back to the mid to late 1990s when Swedish businessman Lars Wingefors formed Nordic Games. If that name also isn’t very familiar to you, then that’s understandable given that they didn’t have a major presence in the US under that company title. It wouldn’t be until 2014 when they acquired the rights to former gaming giant, THQ, that they’d become more of a household name. Then, in 2016, they rebranded as THQ Nordic and really started to expand. In 2019, they rebranded again to Embracer Group, with THQ Nordic being one of their subsidiary, operative groups.

Earlier this year, Embracer made a big splash when they announced they’d acquired Gearbox Entertainment, along with their software division responsible for the “Borderlands” game series. Buying a comic book company doesn’t seem to be the next logical step in-terms of their expansion through the gaming industry, but at the same time, Dark Horse would probably be THE one to purchase if you wanted to expand into that medium.

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Aside from their original intellectual properties, one thing that Dark Horse has specialized in over the years has been licensed comic properties. From 1991 to 2005, they were the exclusive publisher of Star Wars comics, and helped expand the universe with revered titles like the “X-Wing” series and “Dark Empire.” Dark Horse also helped bring continuations of “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” to the written page after their network TV runs had ended. More recently, they’ve also gained some positive exposure thanks to the success of “Umbrella Academy.” And if there needed to be a cherry on top of it all, Dark Horse will also publish new “Star Wars” comic stories alongside the ones being published by Marvel.

If Embracer Group really wanted to double down on its investments, it could easily start having Dark Horse start publishing comics based on some of its bigger video game properties. We’ve already mentioned “Borderlands” as a series under their corporate umbrella, but there’s also the “Darksiders” franchise in addition to “Duke Nukem,” “Saints Row,” and a number of others. Why have all these properties and a comic book publisher and not combine them together for some potentially awesome results?

While the financial details of the acquisition have not been made public, we will keep you updated as to what this merger ends up producing as it sets to finalize in the start of 2022.

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