Starbreeze Studios Has Been Raided One Person Arrested
Swedish authorities have mounted a surprise raid on Starbreeze’s headquarters, leading to at least one arrest. Swedish financial crime authorities have raided the offices of Overkill’s The Walking Dead developers Starbreeze Studios. The surprise raid, which took place earlier today, resulted in the arrest of one individual and the seizure of financial documents and computer equipment. At time of writing, one person has been arrested as part of the raid, although they are yet to be named.
Multiple local news outlets, including Expressen, report that the nation’s Economic Crime Authority (ECO or EBM) have raided the games firm’s head office in Stockholm this morning.
Chief prosecutor Thomas Langrot confirmed to Expressen that “a person has been arrested” while Dagens Industri claims the incident its related to “gross insider crimes”, which suggests insider trading.
Now it appears that the former CFO, Sebastian Ahlskog and CEO, Bo Andersson Klint sold all of their shares in Starbreeze in November 2018. After that, Starbreeze initiated cost savings, changed CEO and went into reconstruction status due to a liquidity crisis. This could be the subject of suspicion for ECA, which they based their raid on.
Fortunately for Starbreeze’s employees, as well as Payday fans, it appears reconstruction will focus on making the business go as usual, in order to try and get the company back on track. It remains to be seen how the raids will affect the company in the future.
Authorities are also said to have seized computers and documents from the premises. But despite the publisher’s well-publicised financial troubles, the incident appears to be centred around the arrested individual.
Starbreeze had already served notice to cut costs across its business as a result of the poor performance of Overkill’s The Walking Dead, but it sounds like the game was an even worse commercial failure than we thought, and a recent price cut had little impact.
UPDATE: ECO press officer Niklas Ahlgren has issued a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, confirming the following:
“This morning officals from the Swedish Economic Crime Authority raided the offices of Starbreeze in Stockholm. One person was arrested and items were seized. The raid is part of an ongoing investigation involving suspected insider trading.”