Swedish video game publisher Starbreeze AB tallied up its losses in its full year and Q4 report for 2018 on Wednesday. The troubled company suffered a loss before tax for 2018 that was more than 1.26 billion SEK, which is the equivalent of more than $135 million USD.
The company made some money from “Overkill’s The Walking Dead,” with 34.1 million SEK, or $3.65 million USD. The title was largely considered a flop, with Starbreeze opting to review costs after its release in November 2018 and then filing for reconstruction the very next month.
Unfortunately for the publisher, the issues which led to significant loss weren’t just disappointing sales of one game, but also costly investments, general mismanagement, and even an insider trading raid.
Four of the seven board members of Starbreeze AB resigned in Q4 2018, leaving the acting CEO of only two months, Mikael Nermark, to publish the year-end report.
Recovery from this loss will require refocusing efforts to stabilize Starbreeze AB’s core business, according to Nermark.
“As the company is under reconstruction, it is naturally difficult to predict the future,” Nermark said. “But the plan we are devising is aimed at creating stable development of the core business and thus long-term shareholder value. I can guarantee that everyone at the company is doing their utmost to promote the favorable development of Starbreeze.”
As a part of these efforts, the company previously announced that it is selling the rights to “System Shock 3” to OtherSide Entertainment, recouping the $12 million it previously invested in the title’s development.
Starbreeze also signed an agreement this month with Universal Games and Digital Platforms to distribute the mobile game “Payday: Crime War,” which Nermark acknowledges as the company’s most successful brand. In fact, “Payday” generated 97.7 million SEK, almost $10.5 million USD, in 2018.
Nermark further expressed optimism about the future of the company, despite the reconstruction and other troubles.
“The fourth quarter was a turbulent period for Starbreeze, with the parent company Starbreeze AB and a number of subsidiaries going into reconstruction,” Nermark stated. “After having served as CEO for just over two months, I remain optimistic that we will come through this period in a good way and emerge stronger from the transformation. I feel confident about the strategic route we have taken. Going forward, we will focus on the core business: game development and publishing.”
Starbreeze AB will hold an extraordinary general meeting on March 7.