The bad news for Starbreeze Studios, developers of the cooperative FPS game Payday 2 and the much-maligned The Walking Dead, which was created by their subsidiary Overkill, continues to pile on.
Their offices, located in Stockholm, Sweden, were teeming with officers from the nation’s Economic Crime Authority, who were seen leaving the building with computers and documents. While there isn’t much information on the raid itself, as of yet, the authorities have stated that there has been one arrest, who they didn’t name. Their reasoning behind the surprise move is due to an “ongoing investigation involving suspected insider trading”.
There is some good news among the bad– it appears that the raid is solely due to the individual(s) they are investigating; the company as a whole is not under suspicion. Gamesindustry.biz received a statement from the Starbreeze investment relations chief, Ann Charlotte Svensson, saying that the reconstruction Starbreeze is currently going through to avoid bankruptcy will not be negatively affected by these circumstances. She iterated that Starbreeze is “not subject to any suspicion” and that they will “cooperates full (sic) with the Swedish Economic Crime Authority“. The company has already been cutting costs, due to the failure of The Walking Dead.
Unfortunately, the news has been filtered through multiple translations and sites, so it is hard to parse the information. Allegedly, two individuals sold their all of their Starbreeze stock back in November, just before the game’s dismal sales forced the the worth of those stocks down to about 10% of their former value. If the rumors are to be believed, however, it would appear that the outgoing CEO and finance manager are the culprits.
However this turns out, I hope Starbreeze recovers. Hopefully, like the zombies that pervaded their latest offering, Starbreeze can keep shuffling along until they find their next warm meal.
Do you think Starbreeze will recover from this? Let us know in the comments!