Embracer CEO Is Full Of Excuses

Embracer CEO Is Full Of Excuses

The past year or so has been a slow-moving trainwreck for Embracer Group, following the large company’s unprecedented studio acquisition spree. And, after announcing on April 22 that the company was planning to split itself up into three different companies, the CEO of Embracer is only filled with excuses as to why his gaming empire crumbled, blaming everything from covid-19 to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a new interview with Gamedeveloper.com, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors explained why the company and all its assets and studios were being split into three different businesses, suggesting that the plan will allow the companies to “better finance our businesses.”

“We need to have the optimal structure for those companies to prosper within. We are a public company and the current structure within Embracer Group in the current environment is not optimal,” explained Wingefors in the interview, which happened shortly after he announced the split on Monday.

Embarcer’s CEO offers excuses and dodges blame

According to Wingefors, you shouldn’t blame Embracer’s collapse on the company buying up multiple studios quickly over the last few years without any real game plan. Instead, the CEO provided other excuses as to why Embracer needed to die.

“We had a number of years, 2019 and 2020, where the cost of capital was really cheap and the willingness from investors to invest into growth organically and inorganically via [mergers and acquisitions] was endless.”

“We also had a gaming market booming, especially during COVID, and we had a much more solid geopolitical situation, for example, in Russia. All those factors have changed a lot,” added Wingefors.

The CEO also blamed bad games and “consumers” not wanting to buy Embracer’s games, too.

“At the end of the day,” said Wingefors, “no matter the financial market, the products we create need to find the consumer and they need to be willing to pay for it—and they have a lot of different choices.”

Embracer is dying, but not because you all hated it

Oh, and the Embracer name is going away, but not because people (and investors) despised the company after it laid off employees, closed studios, killed projects, and failed to produce many games. No, it has nothing to do with that at all, says the CEO.

“These name changes are strategic decisions aimed at allowing each new entity to develop its own unique brand identity, tailored to its specific business focus and to maximize its potential in the market,” said Wingefors, apparently trying to set a record for most buzzwords in a single answer.

On April 23, in a different portion of the same interview, Wingefors sort-of-but not-completely took some of the blame for Embracer’s collapse.

“As a leader and an owner, sometimes you need to take the blame and you need to be humble about if you’ve made mistakes and if you could have done something differently,” said the CEO.

“I’m sure I deserve a lot of criticism, but I don’t think my team or companies deserve all the criticism. I could take a lot of that blame myself. But ultimately I need to believe in the mission we set out and that is still valid, and we are now enabling that by doing this [new] structure.”

When Gamesindustry asked Wingefors about any mistakes he made, he declined to offer specifics, and instead referenced a “long list” of things he and Embracer could have done differently, but added that he still stood by the company’s overall strategy. You know, the strategy that cost it a lot of money, saddled it with debt, led to numerous layoffs, and ultimately caused it to be split into three different companies that will now exist under one holding company that is unable to use the Embracer name because it’s connected directly with failure.

And the man behind that strategy, who seems unwilling to take the blame and only offers up buzzwords and excuses, is going to continue leading the new version of Embracer. Because some people get to fail upwards.

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