Tomb Raider Games Firm Embracer Tumbles After Partnership Talks Collapse 

Embracer Group's computer games are seen in Karlstad, Sweden March 8, 2021. (Reuters)  
Embracer Group's computer games are seen in Karlstad, Sweden March 8, 2021. (Reuters)  
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Tomb Raider Games Firm Embracer Tumbles After Partnership Talks Collapse 

Embracer Group's computer games are seen in Karlstad, Sweden March 8, 2021. (Reuters)  
Embracer Group's computer games are seen in Karlstad, Sweden March 8, 2021. (Reuters)  

Swedish games group Embracer on Wednesday said a large planned strategic partnership had fallen through unexpectedly and that it had lowered its profit guidance, sending shares into a tailspin.

The developer, which last year bought several development studios and the intellectual property rights to a number of games including a new Tomb Raider game, said the deal would have "set a new benchmark for the gaming industry".

"Late last night, we were informed that one major strategic partnership that has been negotiated for seven months will not materialize," it said in a statement.

The deal being negotiated included more than $2 billion in contracted development revenue over six years, it said.

"The deal would have enabled a catch-up payment at closing for already capitalized costs for a range of large-budget games, but also notably improved medium-to-long-term profit and cash flow predictability for the duration of the game development projects."

Shares in Embracer were down 40% at 0753 GMT, hitting an all-time low, with analysts saying the drop was due to the news of the deal as well as the lowered outlook.

Hit by game delays, weaker demand, and "lackluster" reception for some new games, Embracer on Wednesday reported a fiscal full-year adjusted operating profit of 915 million crowns ($90.1 million), roughly matching a profit warning issued last week.

It said that on top of the partnership deal falling through, it had had to postpone planned releases of a number of games under development, cutting as a result its adjusted profit forecast for the current year to 7-9 billion crowns, from 10-14 billion seen previously.

Embracer declined to say who the potential partner was.



OpenAI Appoints Former Top US Cyberwarrior Paul Nakasone to its Board of Directors

OpenAI showed off the latest update to its artificial intelligence model, which can mimic human cadences in its verbal responses and can even try to detect people’s moods. - The AP.
OpenAI showed off the latest update to its artificial intelligence model, which can mimic human cadences in its verbal responses and can even try to detect people’s moods. - The AP.
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OpenAI Appoints Former Top US Cyberwarrior Paul Nakasone to its Board of Directors

OpenAI showed off the latest update to its artificial intelligence model, which can mimic human cadences in its verbal responses and can even try to detect people’s moods. - The AP.
OpenAI showed off the latest update to its artificial intelligence model, which can mimic human cadences in its verbal responses and can even try to detect people’s moods. - The AP.

OpenAI has appointed a former top US cyberwarrior and intelligence official to its board of directors, saying he will help protect the ChatGPT maker from “increasingly sophisticated bad actors.”

Retired Army Gen. Paul Nakasone was the commander of US Cyber Command and the director of the National Security Agency before stepping down earlier this year.

He joins an OpenAI board of directors that's still picking up new members after upheaval at the San Francisco artificial intelligence company forced a reset of the board's leadership last year. The previous board had abruptly fired CEO Sam Altman and then was itself replaced as he returned to his CEO role days later, Reuters.

OpenAI reinstated Altman to its board of directors in March and said it had “full confidence” in his leadership after the conclusion of an outside investigation into the company’s turmoil. OpenAI's board is technically a nonprofit but also governs its rapidly growing business.

Nakasone is also joining OpenAI's new safety and security committee — a group that's supposed to advise the full board on “critical safety and security decisions” for its projects and operations. The safety group replaced an earlier safety team that was disbanded after several of its leaders quit.

Nakasone was already leading the Army branch of US Cyber Command when then-President Donald Trump in 2018 picked him to be director of the NSA, one of the nation's top intelligence posts, and head of US Cyber Command. He maintained the dual roles when President Joe Biden took office in 2021. He retired in February.