Allegedly illegal actions by an employee has resulted in Overkill’s The Walking Dead publisher Starbreeze raided by Swedish authorities. Several computers and a number of documents have been seized by Sweden’s Economic Crimes Authority.
A question immediately comes to mind: why was Starbreeze raided? While the company has had its fair share of troubles lately, this action by government authorities is instead focused on the alleged actions of a single employee. A local news organization claims that the arrest is due to “gross insider crimes”; this accusation suggests that it may be related to insider trading of some sort.
Insider trading typically involves using confidential information to make a profit on a stock exchange or bond market. Starbreeze Studios is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Stockholm market and has seen a steady decline in its value since November of 2018. It’s possible that this employee could have illegally profited during this downturn by making use of confidential internal knowledge regarding the company’s recent performance.
Starbreeze’s CEO had recently resigned due to a number of troubles the company has been facing. The Swedish publisher has been contending with financial difficulties ever since Overkill’s The Walking Dead hasn’t lived up to sales expectations. Losses in the last two quarters had brought them to a make or break moment and they’ve unfortunately broke, opting to enter into reconstruction. Reconstruction essentially involves the company being taken apart and put together again in an effort to salvage the various parts into a useful business enterprise.
With Starbreeze raided by Swedish authorities, the company’s reconstruction efforts may be made all the more difficult. Starbreeze’s investor relations chief Ann Charlotte Svensson has stated that this legal matter is focused entirely on this single employee and that the company itself is under no suspicion for breaking the law. Although the Sweden-based publisher may legally be in the clear, we could nonetheless be seeing the death knell of a company that has been in the gaming business for over two decades.