Zen Studios acquired by Embracer Group

jaredmorgs

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May 8, 2012
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I guess no more special interviews for blahcade...
Time will tell.
I think this house-made show will be a certain flavour of Zen.
What we do on BlahCade is a different type of flavour so I don't think we're going to be written out of the conversation just yet
 

jaredmorgs

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May 8, 2012
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In the comments of that video someone asked if the first episode of The Pinball Show would announce the next pack of Williams tables, and Zen has replied "It might be bigger than that... ;)".
Its definitely going to be interesting for sure.

Zen is at the level of maturity now that they need their own official voice where they can control the narrative to their own requirements.

This direction they are taking is the right one.
Bring on 2021. I reckon last year's drought downstream is about to become a flash flood.
 

kimkom

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Jan 28, 2013
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Its definitely going to be interesting for sure.

Zen is at the level of maturity now that they need their own official voice where they can control the narrative to their own requirements.

This direction they are taking is the right one.
Bring on 2021. I reckon last year's drought downstream is about to become a flash flood.

I think you're right Jared. 'Holy Grail' and a lot more, incoming! :eek:
 

Narc0lep5y

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Feb 21, 2015
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...control the narrative to their own requirements.

Clearly spelling isn't one of those requirements :p

I'm wait and see on this. Not sure I need a Zen infomercial, especially if it comes at the expense of Q&A from less biased sources (like Blahcade). But I like the idea of Zen thinking they have enough coming content to do it.
 

jaredmorgs

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May 8, 2012
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Clearly spelling isn't one of those requirements

I'm wait and see on this. Not sure I need a Zen infomercial, especially if it comes at the expense of Q&A from less biased sources (like Blahcade). But I like the idea of Zen thinking they have enough coming content to do it.

They need a Tech Writer to do a copy edit for sure.

I can still remember how rough the first 10 episodes of BlahCade were.
So I think we should give them a chance to settle in before writing them off just yet.

Des from Zen still reckons we'll get plenty of time with Mel, so we'll see how it all shakes down.
 

Firefox2000

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Apr 18, 2013
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^^^ My guess/hope: Pinball FX4... with built in VR and controller haptics tech guaranteed for every table. All PFX3 tables can be upgraded into the new tech hotness for a small fee (let's not be greedy).

Yeap, VR has totally ruined flat 2D pinball for me at this point, the Stern PB vr app and PBFXII are sights to behold in VR, the next bets thing to actually owning the table, and even moreso since i got the Quest 2 and its bump in resolution and almost no SDE, so yeah VR Pinball please PB4.
 

joeblow

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Feb 26, 2013
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Aaaaaaand the constantly shifting business situation for Zen Studios shifts again. Their parent company Embracer Group merged with Gearbox.

Gearbox Software is a creative developer of multiple original AAA game titles and franchises. The IP portfolio includes, among others, the well-renowned and critically acclaimed games Borderlands, Brothers in Arms, Homeworld and Duke Nukem.
 

trash80

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Aaaaaaand the constantly shifting business situation for Zen Studios shifts again. Their parent company Embracer Group merged with Gearbox.

This has little to no impact on Zen's current or future business. The way this is structured is Gearbox becomes the seventh independent publishing and operating group within the Embracer Group. This seems to be a cash injection for Gearbox and an IP grab for Embracer. When you consider that Gearbox has been getting into TV and Movies with their properties, it all makes sense.

From a Zen standpoint, maybe we could see a Borderlands or Duke Nukem pinball table at some point in the future.
 

1adam12

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Nov 28, 2017
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This has little to no impact on Zen's current or future business. The way this is structured is Gearbox becomes the seventh independent publishing and operating group within the Embracer Group. This seems to be a cash injection for Gearbox and an IP grab for Embracer. When you consider that Gearbox has been getting into TV and Movies with their properties, it all makes sense.

From a Zen standpoint, maybe we could see a Borderlands or Duke Nukem pinball table at some point in the future.
In another thread it's being talked about that Pinball FX4 could have a different business model, including subscription. Is it possible some of that is because of how the merged business wants to generate revenue?

Side note: does this mean no more tables for FX3? They didn't exactly do a ton of Williams/Bally tables.

Sent from my motorola one fusion+ using Tapatalk
 

Narc0lep5y

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Feb 21, 2015
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Borderlands 3 was also launched as an Epic exclusive. Distributed by Take2/2k and so was RDR2 so that could be a different decision maker, But there’s certainly more for that particular theory there.

(For the record I didn’t buy either of those titles on Epic or Steam (after exclusivity) after owning the earlier versions too).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

joeblow

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Feb 26, 2013
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This has little to no impact on Zen's current or future business. The way this is structured is Gearbox becomes the seventh independent publishing and operating group within the Embracer Group. This seems to be a cash injection for Gearbox and an IP grab for Embracer. When you consider that Gearbox has been getting into TV and Movies with their properties, it all makes sense.

From a Zen standpoint, maybe we could see a Borderlands or Duke Nukem pinball table at some point in the future.
The article says that Gearbox took on a significant stake, which means there are additional heads involved pondering and planning the future of Pinball FX.

Is it as impactful as Embracer Group's acquisition? No, which is why I didn't make a separate thread. It is, however, interesting to note all of the influencers that are potentially involved. Maybe it'll result in nothing other than tables under Gearbox's franchise, maybe more, maybe less. We'll see.
 

trash80

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The article says that Gearbox took on a significant stake, which means there are additional heads involved pondering and planning the future of Pinball FX.

Is it as impactful as Embracer Group's acquisition? No, which is why I didn't make a separate thread. It is, however, interesting to note all of the influencers that are potentially involved. Maybe it'll result in nothing other than tables under Gearbox's franchise, maybe more, maybe less. We'll see.

No. It says Gearbox received (newly created) Embracer B shares and cash totaling 363 million. Gearbox continues to have a "stake" in the success of GEARBOX, as over the next 6 years this is estimated to be a 1 billion + deal based on projected future GEARBOX performance. There isn't any mention of other Embracer Group entities, but it does say that Gearbox will continue to be it's own thing, so if they had no influence on Zen business before, they still won't.

I'll let you look up share types and what the differences entail.
 
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trash80

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In another thread it's being talked about that Pinball FX4 could have a different business model, including subscription. Is it possible some of that is because of how the merged business wants to generate revenue?
Side note: does this mean no more tables for FX3? They didn't exactly do a ton of Williams/Bally tables.

There had been some chatter in late 2019/early 2020 that Zen Studios was possibly looking for outside investment. Embracer Group (THQ Nordic) acquired Zen Studios a few months ago and placed them with one of their (now 7) business management and operational tiers. However, it is unlikely that anyone at Embracer Group (Saber Interactive) has pushed for a change in business model. Why? Zen management has stated that the mobile business model for the William Pinball app has been a HUGE success, and that they were also prioritizing and pursuing growth in the developing Asian markets (read: phones, sub and ad models). So... more than likely Zen produced some pretty impressive business projections to Embracer Group and got themselves a nice payday and a more robust publishing infrastructure. Win, Win.

FX3 tables: The Mandalorian pack is still slated for a Q1 release and will feature at least 2 original tables based on the Disney+ Star Wars series. But after that, Who knows? Mel (Zen VP) mentioned a "holy grail" (Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure ?) table being worked on for future release, but since we have no time table for the release of Pinball FX New (4) we can't know for certain which platform this table development is for.

The future?: Zen stated in an unofficial post that they didn't want to "kill" FX3. This could mean it continues with additional sporadic future releases after the Mandalorian, or more likely, as abandonware that is still available on various digital storefronts until certain licenses agreements expire in which these effected tables/DLC would be removed from the stores.
 
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Rayder

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Mar 21, 2014
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I don't know, it seems like Zen's business has already been affected. How often did tables used to get released? How fast are they being released now? There's been an obvious change in frequency since all this "acquiring" started.
 

1adam12

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Nov 28, 2017
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There had been some chatter in late 2019/early 2020 that Zen Studios was possibly looking for outside investment. Embracer Group (THQ Nordic) acquired Zen Studios a few months ago and placed them with one of their (now 7) business management and operational tiers. However, it is unlikely that anyone at Embracer Group (Saber Interactive) has pushed for a change in business model. Why? Zen management has stated that the mobile business model for the William Pinball app has been a HUGE success, and that they were also prioritizing and pursuing growth in the developing Asian markets (read: phones, sub and ad models). So... more than likely Zen produced some pretty impressive business projections to Embracer Group and got themselves a nice payday and a more robust publishing infrastructure. Win, Win.

FX3 tables: The Mandalorian pack is still slated for a Q1 release and will feature at least 2 original tables based on the Disney+ Star Wars series. But after that, Who knows? Mel (Zen VP) mentioned a "holy grail" (Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure ?) table being worked on for future release, but since we have no time table for the release of Pinball FX New (4) we can't know for certain which platform this table development is for.

The future?: Zen stated in an unofficial post that they didn't want to "kill" FX3. This could mean it continues with additional sporadic future releases after the Mandalorian, or more likely, as abandonware that is still available on various digital storefronts until certain licenses agreements expire in which these effected tables/DLC would be removed from the stores.
Thanks for all of that insight.

This really sours me on them as a business. I held a grudge for quite a while when they got the Bally license and waited a long time to buy tables. I like the tournaments and the UI. The tables are beautiful and play pretty well.

That being said, I appreciate even more the commitment Farsight had. While things like lighting improvements would have been very welcome, they kept plugging away and engaged with the fans when it came to table choices.

If there is an FX4, I'm out. It simply feels like a money grab at a time when FX3 is still very good and could support more tables.

Sent from my motorola one fusion+ using Tapatalk
 

trash80

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Dec 14, 2018
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Thanks for all of that insight.
This really sours me on them as a business. I held a grudge for quite a while when they got the Bally license and waited a long time to buy tables. I like the tournaments and the UI. The tables are beautiful and play pretty well.
That being said, I appreciate even more the commitment Farsight had. While things like lighting improvements would have been very welcome, they kept plugging away and engaged with the fans when it came to table choices.
If there is an FX4, I'm out. It simply feels like a money grab at a time when FX3 is still very good and could support more tables.

You are soured on a business that is doing everything they can to be a growing and successful endeavor for both employees and customers alike? Well, to each their own... and while there are things about Zen that I am no fan of, I'm still glad they continue to build the pinball products that they do.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the Pinball Arcade tables and own them all, but I think you may be looking at Farsight's time with the WMS license with nostalgia, or maybe you just don't know how Farisight operates. Farsight never really engaged with fans except when it came to crowd funding, and if you actually watched their Twitch streams, you would realize that nothing they ever said, hinted at or "promised" in those ever came true. And the bugs... Oh well. Also, if you like Stern tables, you should probably be upset that that license was tied up in limbo due to Farsight and their horrible management of the property, and the many costly missteps made during the development of the Stern app pretty much destroyed any future for growth of the Farsight Stern table library.

FX4 should have come out a couple of years ago and BEFORE any of the Williams tables were released, but you know how hindsight works... FX3 was already long in the tooth the day it was released since it is basically just a remastered and repackaged FX2 that allowed Zen to remove specific licensed IP DLC from all the digital storefronts. I'll admit that I am amazed at the work that Deep has done within the available FX3 framework but the hard limits with the engine are now too much to ignore.
 

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