The Embracer Group is now collecting historical games in addition to developers

by John Stapel

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rows of classic games in boxes arranged on wooden shelves
(Image credit: Embracer Games Archive)

The Embracer Group, a massive conglomerate formerly known as THQ Nordic AB, has recently announced a game preservation initiative called the Embracer Games Archive (opens in new tab) with the stated goal to "archive and save as much of the videogames industry as possible."

The Embracer Group has made a name for itself in recent years with a rush of high-profile studio acquisitions, including Gearbox, Coffee Stain, and Dark Horse Comics. Most recently, the group acquired Square Enix's former North American studios (opens in new tab) , including Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics, the developers of the Deus Ex and Tomb Raider reboots, respectively.

The Embracer Games Archive has so far collected "50,000 games, consoles, and accessories" in its vault in Karlstad, Sweden, and boasts a team consisting of a CEO, archivist, assistant, technical engineer, and supply manager.

Currently, the collection is not accessible to the public or researchers, but the initiative has stated it plans on building out a database of its collection and making it available as a resource to academics, researchers, and, at least to some degree, the general public.

It's always a pleasant surprise to hear about a project like this, especially from the corporate sector. The one-two punch of the profit motive and copyright law can prove an insurmountable hurdle to game preservation, with historical and artistic concerns often being at odds with industry practices. I don't think the Embracer Games Archive is necessarily the answer to the issue of games preservation, but more efforts like it are certainly always welcome, especially considering the questionably legitimate speculative bubble (opens in new tab) currently affecting physical game collecting.  

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.