The Saudi-backed Savvy Games was the mystery partner that walked away.
Text saying Embracer Group.

Embracer Group recently started to lay off employees and shutter some of their game studios as recently as last week after a multi-billion dollar deal reportedly fell through. At the time of that initial report, it was not known who that mystery partner could have been that walked away from the deal after negotiations.

Today, it has been revealed that the partner in question was Savvy Games Group, a company funded by the Saudi government. This reveal comes to us via Axios.

The reporting from Axios says that Savvy was interested in becoming involved in game publishing and looked towards The Embracer Group as their entry point. While we now know that it was Savvy Games that was this mystery partner, we still do not know why they ultimately decided to walk away from the $2 billion deal.

In May 2023, Embracer said that a major partnership fell through at the last minute. This was after a verbal commitment for the deal was reached in October 2022. This partnership would have provided Embracer Group with more than $2 billion in contracted work revenue over a period of six years.

As this deal fell through, Embracer was left in the unfortunate position of having to lay off staff and shutter studios. The first studio impacted by Embracer was Campfire Cabal.

Savvy Games Group came about in January 2022 after Saudi Arabia set up a "sovereign wealth fund" or Public Investment Fund (PIF). This fund was set up to invest in gaming and diversify Saudi Arabia's economy. Since then, this PIF was used to invest $1.5 billion in two esports firms. This PIF was also used to gain a 5% ownership in Nintendo, and was also used to invest in companies such as Take-Two Interactive and Electronic Arts.