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Starbreeze Sells Rockstar its Indian Subsidiary Dhruva to Stay Afloat

Starbreeze opted to sell its Indian subsidiary, Dhruva, to Rockstar Games in a $7.9 million deal that’s anticipated to close in the coming weeks, according to the company’s Q1 2019 financial report.

Dhruva, Starbreeze’s art outsourcing Indian subsidiary, will go to Rockstar after the close of the deal anticipated to happen “before the half-year of 2019,” according to a press release from Starbreeze.

The sale is a part of the company’s continued efforts to survive and a reconstruction that was revealed back in December of last year. The company revealed then that it plans to focus on its “core business,” meaning internal game development and publishing.

Dhruva CEO Rajesh Rao, who founded the company in 1997 and will work with Rockstar India for the transition, commented in a press release about the acquisition.

Rockstar Games are the undisputed leaders of innovation and creativity in modern game development,” said Rao. “Dhruva Interactive was founded with the aim of creating a world-class game development community in India, and so bringing the Dhruva team under the Rockstar Games label is further proof that we have succeeded in creating a talented team that can contribute to the best games in the world while helping to create a thriving local game developer community in India.”

This divestment of Dhruva is in line with Starbreeze’s goal of focusing on core business, as explained by acting CEO Mikael Nermark in his remarks in the report.

“My main task is to secure financing for the company’s future operations,” Nermark wrote. “This involves both long-term financing we can use to build the Starbreeze of the future, but also making sure that the assets we have
determined are unrelated to the core business are managed in a commercially viable way. Once this financing has been secured, we will be able to look ahead and present a more detailed strategy for the future.”

The deal comes at an ideal time, as Starbreeze also revealed that it lacks sufficient funds to keep the company operating for the next 12 months in its financial report Monday. Earlier this year, Starbreeze also sold the rights for “System Shock 3” back to OtherSide.

The financial difficulties for the company are in part due to disappointing sales of “Overkill’s The Walking Dead,” which was pulled from Steam back in February by Skybound Entertainment, which owns the rights to “The Walking Dead” franchise.

“Our creators and their stories are the core of Skybound, and since 2014 we have worked hard to expand the world of ‘The Walking Dead’ into an exceptional co-op action FPS,” Skybound commented in a statement to Variety. “We did our best to work with Starbreeze and resolve many issues that we saw with the game, but ultimately ‘Overkill’s The Walking Dead’ did not meet our standards nor is it the quality that we were promised.”

There’s more to the struggles of Starbreeze, including “costly failures and mismanagement,” which you can read more about here.

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