Embracer Group Announces 11th Operating Group: Embracer Freemode

KARLSTAD, Sweden, August 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Embracer Group AB (“Embracer”) today announced the formation of Embracer Freemode (“Freemode”), an operating group comprised of certain Embracer-owned gaming and entertainment companies. Freemode is led by the CEO Lee Guinchard, a 30-year gaming veteran and entrepreneur. Freemode provides a global ecosystem of strategic, operational and financial support to its collective of small and medium enterprises to achieve operational efficiency and effectively grow their businesses to achieve their long-term goals. Additionally, Freemode will expand its operations in the retro, classic and heritage games category, while investing in iconic gaming and entertainment properties.

The newly formed operating group focuses on 6 large and diverse market segments including: Retro/Classic/Legacy Games and Entertainment, Game Development and Production, Devices, Equipment and Collectibles, Community and e-commerce, incubation and production services for new ideas and technologies.

With our announcement of Freemode, we demonstrate our continued commitment to diversified growth in new areas, ultimately preserving the classics of yesterday in addition to expanding the gaming and entertainment experiences of tomorrow,” says Lars Wingefors, CEO of Embracer AB Group.

Freemode strikes the ideal balance between independence and targeted levels of world-class operational support, growth capital and strategic direction. Founders of companies acquired within this progressive ecosystem retain autonomy and creative control, while gaining the essential resources to scale.

Creators, by their very nature, are at the forefront of industry-leading innovation and disruption. Founders are empowered to realize their true creative vision. Ultimately, our goal is to provide our entrepreneur-led businesses with the essential resources to deliver the most exciting entertainment experiences to fans around the world.” said Lee GuinchardCEO of Freemode.

CEO Lee Guinchard was co-founder and CEO of Aionic Labs Inc, an ideation technology incubator located in Silicon Valley, California. He was also studio head of Red Octane Design and vice president of hardware at video game publisher Activision Blizzard for 11 years. At Activision Blizzard, he oversaw hardware development, manufacturing and compliance for multi-billion dollar franchises such as Guitar Hero and Skylanders. Lee was also founder and CEO of Joytech, a global video game accessories company, as well as founder and managing director of LDA Distribution, a leading pan-European video game distributor. Both companies were acquired by Take 2 Interactive in 1999.

We are also proud to officially announce that we have recently acquired Tatsujin, Embracer’s first studio located in Japan. Tatsujin is led by Masahiro Yuge, one of the founders of the iconic arcade game studio Toaplan known for games such as Truxton, Snow Bros and Flying Shark. Acquiring the rights to the Toaplan catalog separately under another deal means that Tatsujin and several employees who once created Toaplan games can now curate these classics and guide them into the future.

Freemode has also acquired Bitwave Games, a Swedish studio with a passion for retro games. With the support of Freemode, Bitwave can expand the internal development team and build a publishing team. Bitwave will bring Toaplan’s beloved shooters to PC and release the classic NES/Famicom platformer Gimmick! on console and modern consoles in the west.

We are also delighted to announce that we have recently acquired Gioteck, one of Europe’s leading gaming accessory brands. Gioteck has a rich heritage that spans 2 decades. We believe there are great opportunities for Gioteck to collaborate within Embracer as well as in the wider gaming industry.

Freemode is headquartered in Karlstad, Sweden with regional offices in Livermore, California, London, UKand Hong Kong.

Freemode’s founding companies are existing Embracer-owned businesses that previously reported directly to our Group CEO and Head Office in KarlstadSweden.

Freemode operates 12 companies in 6 countries and with a total of 509 employees.

The founding companies of the Freemode operating group include Embracer companies: Tatsujin (Japan), Game Outlet Europe (Sweden), Clear River Games (Sweden), quantum laboratory (Romania), Bitwave Games (Sweden), Gioteck (UK), C77 Entertainment (UNITED STATES) and Grimfrost (Sweden).

For more information, please contact:
Oscar ErixonHead of Investor Relations Embracer Group AB (publ)
Tel: + 46 730 24 91 42
Email: [email protected]

Beatrice ForsgrenHead of Brand and Communications Embracer Group AB (publ)
Tel: +46 704 52 57 63
Email: [email protected]

Lee GuinchardCEO Embracer Freemode AB
Tel: +1 408 649 1100
Email: [email protected]

About Embracer Group
Embracer Group is a parent company of entrepreneur-led businesses in PC, console, mobile and board games and other related media. The Group has a large catalog of more than 850 owned or controlled franchises.

With its head office based in Karlstad, Sweden, Embracer Group has a global presence through its eleven operating groups: THQ Nordic, Plaion, Coffee Stain, Amplifier Game Invest, Saber Interactive, DECA Games, Gearbox Entertainment, Easybrain, Asmodee, Dark Horse and Embracer Freemode. The Group has 120 in-house game development studios and employs over 12,750 staff and contract employees in over 40 countries.

Embracer Group shares are listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market in Stockholm under the symbol EMBRAC B with FNCA Sweden AB as certified adviser; [email protected] +46-8-528 00 399.

Subscribe to press releases and financial information: https://embracer.com/investors/subscription/

About Bitwave Games (Sweden)

Originally founded as Retroid Interactive in Gothenburg, Sweden2013, Bitwave Games is a developer and publisher of polished, high-quality, accessible, and fun video games that blend the best of the past, present, and future for everyone to enjoy.

About Tatsujin (Japan)

A veteran-led Japanese studio Masahiro Yuge. He was one of the founders of the famous arcade game studio Toaplan, known for its shooting games. Tatsujin continues the legacy and manages the Toaplan catalog of classic games such as Truxton, Snow Bros, Flying Shark and Zero Wing known for the “All Your Bases Belong to Us” line.

About Clear River Games (Sweden)

Founded in 2019, Clear River Games is a Swedish publisher in Karlstad next to “Klarälven – i.e. Clear River”. Clear river games The main goal is to publish high quality classic game franchises, modern retro and pixel art games and indie games that inspire gamers and bring back great memories from the past or discover new great games. CRG’s vision is to bring the joy of experiencing vintage retro gaming and reviving classic game franchises to gamers around the world.

About Game Outlet Europe (GOE) Distribution (Sweden)

Founded in the early 2000s, pioneering the Swedish gaming industry in the early 1990s, GOE Distribution is an independent distributor of video games and gaming accessories. GOE distributes a wide assortment of back catalog and video games from all publishers, from the smallest to the largest. GOE is also the official distributor of 8bitdo and Retro-bit accessories and cartridges. Situated at Karlstad, SwedenGOE does business globally with more than 40 different countries, including independent stores, big box stores, Amazon global, etc.

About Gioteck (UK)

Founded in 2008, Gioteck is one of Europe’s leading gaming accessory brands. Designed and manufactured in the UK. Gioteck accessories provide gaming and audio enthusiasts with the latest and most innovative peripherals to enhance their overall immersive experience. Gioteck’s philosophy is to design products keeping in mind that “form follows function”. While our look and feel is extremely important to us, the fundamental design of how the product is used, played with and lasts is a priority.

About the Quantum Lab (Romania)

Established in 2006, Quantum Lab is a highly experienced outsourcing company specializing in high quality testing, user experience and localization solutions across all platforms. With more than fifteen years of experience, we are one of the leading European outsourcing companies, contributing with our exceptional activity to the release of thousands of projects worldwide (including games, business applications, etc.) . Quantic Lab is very proud of its successful long-term partnerships based on integrity and trust.

About Grimfrost (Sweden)

Grimfrost is a Swedish company founded in 2014 with the aim of sharing our heritage and our modern way of life with the rest of the world. We are committed to making and selling the highest quality Viking reproductions on the market, ranging from simple pendants to unique high end products not found elsewhere. In addition to historical items, we also offer contemporary products that have been inspired and interpreted by Viking Age culture.

About C77 Entertainment (UNITED STATES)

C77 is led by Mattias Kylén and Kenny Magnusson; two Swedes with a long history in the games industry. Together they have worked on several award-winning AAA titles, including leadership roles in franchise development teams such as Halo, Battlefield and Mercenaries. Situated in Seattleour team is made up of passionate developers with extensive experience in AAA game development and visual effects.

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SOURCE Embracer Group AB