Plenty of indie and third-party game studios have been bought out by game publishers. BioWare, Rare, and Monolith Soft come to mind, and now Harebrained Schemes joins their ranks.
Earlier today, Paradox Interactive announced it acquired all of Harebrained Schemes for a total of $7,500,000 (plus 25% of the Harebrained’s earnings for the next five years). According to Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester, “Harebrained Schemes have proven themselves as a world-class studio with a very talented team within a genre where Paradox wants to be present. In addition, we really like the studio, the people who run it, and their games; these are all absolute hard criteria for us in any acquisition.”
Harebrained Schemes initially gained Internet attention with its Kickstarter campaign for Shadowrun Returns, an isometric RPG based on the Shadowrun pen and paper RPG. The studio went on to produce two more Shadowrun games, the roguelike/soulslike hybrid Necropolis, the board game Golem Arcana, and the recently released Battletech, the latter of which was published by Paradox Interactive. Now, Harebrained Scheme’s games will join Paradox Interactive’s sizable library, which includes well-received titles such as Cities: Skylines, Pillars of Eternity, Magicka, and Tyranny.
According to the announcement, Harebrained Schemes will “continue to operate with its own internal management and creative teams, designing and developing the games that have earned them their outstanding reputation.” Apparently the acquisition is less about Paradox Interactive telling Harebrained what games to produce and more about giving the studio access to Paradox’s “distribution expertise, financial support, and an extended colleague network of strategy enthusiasts.”
While Paradox Interactive now owns Harebrained Schemes in its entirety, the deal doesn’t go through until Thursday, June 7th. Still, both companies look forward to working together to produce new and better games. Given the glowing reviews of Battletech, Paradox’s acquisition of Harebrained Schemes could potentially be a match made in heaven.