Authorities Raid Starbreeze Offices, Publisher Behind 'Overkill's The Walking Dead'
(Photo: Overkill's The Walking Dead / Overkill Software / Starbreeze Studios)
A major game studio recently underwent one of the most harrowing days that a company could ever experience during its lifetime. In a reversal of a situation often found in its most famous game, "Payday 2," the Starbreeze offices and employees found themselves under investigation by Swedish authorities.
According to Gamespot (via gameindustry.biz), the Starbreeze offices were recently raided by officers of the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (ECA) who arrested an individual while seizing documents and computers from the premises. The raid on Starbreeze offices is apparently part of an investigation into insider trading within the organization.
The ECA notes that Starbreeze itself is not the subject of suspicion in the investigation. In a statement by an ECA representative quoted by the publication, the investigating body has noted that Starbreeze is fully cooperating with the ECA and the investigation is supposedly not interfering with the company's day-to-day operations.
The identity of the individual arrested within the Starbreeze office was not disclosed by the report. In addition, the specifics of the charges being brought upon the arrested Starbreeze employee have not been released to the public as of this publication.
Gamespot also mentions that the Starbreeze office raid occurs a few days after the company filed for reconstruction to avoid bankruptcy. The financial crisis that the company is undergoing is not helped by the fact that Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson - as well as a significant number of Board of Directors members - have resigned from their positions.
Interestingly, PC Gamer notes that the departure of Bo Andersson from the company may not be a wholly conscious decision on his part. The publication notes that in a report by Swedish publication Expressen.se, Andersson mentions being fired from Starbreeze and is currently unable to comment on the current situation of the game development studio.
It is noted that the game studio's current financial ills are due in part to the poor performance of "Overkill's The Walking Dead." While the game may currently be a huge success in the China and Russia markets, the Starbreeze developed first-person shooter failed to make a significant dent in the Western hemisphere. In addition to the lack of popularity for "Overkill's The Walking Dead," Starbreeze has had to delay the release of the console versions of the game to February 2019, further depriving the company of additional revenue since the game's launch.
Fans of Starbreeze's currently released games will have to hope that the company can get through its tumultuous period. Hopefully, the February release of the console versions of "Overkill's The Walking Dead" will be able to help the game publisher and its employees recover from the situation.