The Embracer Group is a significant gaming company that is still somewhat under the radar in comparison to other major brands. Previously known as THQ Nordic and operating out of Sweden, it's become the parent organisation for a number of major gaming companies - familiar names that are part of the group include Saber Interactive, Gearbox and Aspyr. It made waves recently by acquiring Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix Montréal and Eidos-Montréal from Square Enix.
It's a significant player in the industry, then, but has recently earned attention for another project - Embracer Games Archive. It seems like an example of a company using its significant resources to pick up a baton normally held my volunteers and non-profit organisations, with a mission to acquire, preserve and share gaming history and culture.
Imagine a place where all physical video games, consoles and accessories are gathered at the same place. And think about how much that could mean for games' culture and enabling video games research. This journey has just been started and we are at an early stage. But already now, we have a large collection to take care of at the Embracer Games Archive’s premises in Karlstad, Sweden. A team of experts has been recruited and will start building the foundation for the archive. At Embracer Games Archive, we believe that games carry a heritage worth celebrating and safeguarding for the future. Our goal is clear – We want to archive and save as much of the video games industry as possible.
The official website states that the archive already has around 50,000 games, systems and accessories, with a staffed team including an archivist and archive assistant. It's aiming to start work on a database of the collection this year, before opening up for collaborations with museums and researchers. The 'long term ambition' is to have public exhibitions locally and around the world.
With game preservation being a hot-button topic, particularly as original hardware ages and the digital age brings a new range of challenges, this seems like a very positive initiative. It's certainly something to follow closely in the coming years.