Embracer Group COO Egil Strunke Leaves Amid Turmoil To Found New Studio

Embracer Group doesn't seem to be having a great time of it right now, and its COO has just departed to found his own studio.


Published: November 6, 2023 9:14 AM /

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Four characters standing against a wall in Saints Row, a game released under the Embracer Group umbrella via THQ Nordic

Embracer Group COO Egil Strunke has announced he is departing the studio in order to found his own company.

In a post on LinkedIn earlier today, Strunke says he's parting ways with Embracer Group, and that he has "mixed feelings" about the situation.

He says that on the one hand, he'll be sad to leave the company and his "amazing" colleagues, but on the other hand, he's excited to begin life with his new company, Strunke Games.

A player wielding a bow in a forest in Neverwinter, a game under the Embracer Group umbrella via Cryptic Studios
Embracer Group's turbulent recent history includes layoffs at Neverwinter studio Cryptic, plus more.

Strunke says that the goal of his new studio is to "support and be involved in some of hte most interesting gaming studios, companies, and projects" in the world of gaming.

The company's roles include consultancy, project evaluation, investment, and mentoring; it doesn't sound like Strunke Games will be a development outfit, which makes sense given Strunke's areas of expertise.

Egil Strunke's decision comes amid a turbulent time for Embracer Group.

In recent months, layoffs and studio closures have affected Embracer subsidiaries like Cryptic Studios and Saints Row developer Volition, and it's likely more will come before Embracer settles.

The player shooting at a helicopter while SWAT team members try to fight back in Saints Row, an Embracer Group game made by Volition
Saints Row studio Volition was shut down earlier this year.

This round of layoffs and closures began after a "groundbreaking strategic partnership", which Embracer seems to have been banking on for investment, fell through earlier this year.

Shortly after the dissolution of that partnership was announced, Embracer said it would downsize its operations through closing some studios, laying off staff members, and canceling projects.

Despite this, many Embracer projects are still on track; the group has declared its intention to better exploit its Lord of the Rings IP and recently described Lord of the Rings as "well ahead" of Embracer's business plan.

Embracer is far from the only studio affected by this wave of industry layoffs; other afflicted studios include Destiny 2 developer BungieDreams studio Media Molecule, and Elite Dangerous outfit Frontier.

Stay tuned for more on all things Embracer Group.

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