The buyout of the Embracer PWE and Cryptic studios is a big deal for MMORPGs. The future of both brands looks bright, with plenty to look forward to in 2018. With so many titles on their plate, here are some things that we learned about game development from this deal.

PWE and Cryptic have been working on a number of MMOs, but the most popular one is Star Trek Online. The game has had a couple of updates since the buyout, including new content like the Delta Rising expansion. Read more in detail here: popular mmos.

Everything we learned about PWE’s and Cryptic’s MMOs thanks to the Embracer buyout


We reported earlier this week that Embracer Group AB had purchased Perfect World’s North American division, as well as its publishing branch and Cryptic Studios, and had integrated them into its Gearbox subsidiary. I won’t say the news came as a complete surprise, as PWE must have been hurting after its two 2020 and 2021 releases – Torchlight III and Magic Legends, both of which were downgraded from MMO to multiplayer prior to launch – flopped miserably, with Magic Legends being canned during beta and resulting in layoffs. The Embracer/Gearbox merger, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be a probable fit.

In any case, we now know a little more about PWE and Cryptic’s MMORPGs owing to the acquisition and Embracer’s investor presentation.

Despite the layoffs, PWE remains a significant company. PWE has 237 workers, 136 of whom work at Cryptic — this is after the major layoffs that followed the death of Magic Legends. While we concentrated on MMORPGs (the most notable of which are Star Trek Online and Neverwinter), the study also mentions all of the Perfect World Chinese imports, as well as a number of long-dead games including the folding MOBA Gigantic.

Neverwinter is by far PWE’s most popular game. Neverwinter has accumulated $400 million from 20 million lifetime users, compared to $240 million and 6 million players for Star Trek Online and $200 million and 4 million players for Perfect World International (doesn’t this sound excessive?). To reach $64 million in sales and 5 million copies sold, the Torchlight series has been combined together. Given how badly Torchlight III performed, we assume that the majority of the blame falls on the previous games. Even though Remnant from the Ashes isn’t an MMORPG, it reportedly made $70 million from 3 million purchases, which isn’t bad for a game that’s almost done.

There will be no capes! The earnings and players for Champions Online aren’t included, although the franchise – along with the City of Heroes brand, which hasn’t belonged to Cryptic in over 14 years – is noted in the history part. Gigantic, Hob, and Torchlight are all owned IPs, as are Champions.

PWE is somewhat equivalent to Sandbox Interactive in Albion Online. Embracer paid $125 million in US dollars, half in cash and half in stock. The new subsidiary is anticipated to generate $77 million in net sales this year, “break even” the next year, and $22 million to $33 million in operating EBIT the following year.

What is the purpose of PWE? The next two slides highlight PWE and Cryptic’s portfolios, distinctiveness, and MMO competence. According to the press release, “the purchase advances Gearbox Entertainment’s aim to Entertain the World.”

Embracer is the source of this information. Salutations, GreaterDivinity!


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