Number of locations
|2 studios[a] (2017)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Saber Interactive (2020–present)|
4A Games Limited is a Ukrainian-Maltese video game developer based in Sliema, Malta. The company was founded in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2006 by three developers who departed from GSC Game World. In 2014, 4A Games moved its headquarters to Sliema, wherein the Kyiv office was retained as a sub-studio. The company is best known for developing the Metro video game series.
4A Games was founded by former developers from GSC Game World: Andrew Prokhorov, Oles Shyshkovtsov, and Alexander Maximchuk; they, together with Sergei Karmalsky, formed the core team of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, which was in development at GSC in the early and mid-2000s. Prokhorov had disliked that Sergiy Grygorovych, the chief executive officer (CEO) of GSC, prioritized money over his employees, withholding royalties for games the company had produced. The situation came to a high point when the two fell out over wages in 2006, leading Prokhorov and two of the company's lead programmers—Shyshkovtsov and Maximchuk—to leave the company and found a new studio, 4A Games, with the intention to treat its employees better than Grygorovych did.
The company's first game was Metro 2033, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky that was announced in 2009. The game was released in March 2010 on the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows to generally favorable reviews.
Following their initial success, 4A Games began work on the sequel, Metro: Last Light, which was announced during the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo convention. The game faced several issues during its production, whose release date was delayed from 2012 to 2013. The most significant setback for the company occurred in January 2013, when the game's publisher, THQ, closed down after declaring bankruptcy and auctioning off its intellectual properties. The publishing rights to the Metro 2033 franchise, including the sequel, were sold to Koch Media for $5.8 million on 22 January, allowing the company to finish making the game. Metro: Last Light was finally released on 14 May 2013, and was published by Koch Media's video game label, Deep Silver.
On 30 March 2014, a remastered re-release of both Metro titles, under the name Metro Redux, was leaked, and confirmed the day after. The compilation was released in August 2014 for eighth-generation platforms. In 2017, the company released a virtual reality game, Arktika.1.
During the 2017 E3 convention, at the Microsoft press conference on 11 June 2017, a new game, Metro Exodus, was announced for a 2018 release. Gameplay was shown to both announce the game and act as a graphical showcase for Microsoft's native 4K-focused update to the Xbox One hardware, Xbox One X. The game was released in 2019.
On 12 May 2014, amidst the Ukrainian crisis and following the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, 4A Games announced that they were to expand by opening a new studio in and moving their headquarters to Sliema, Malta to allow for easier operations inside the European Union, with the Kyiv studio continuing to operate for Eastern European operations.
The company was acquired by Saber Interactive under the Embracer Group for approximately US$36 million in August 2020. The publisher of the Metro series, Deep Silver, was already a part of the Embracer Group via Koch Media, making the acquisition a sensible one for both groups.
|2010||Metro 2033||Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360||THQ|
|2013||Metro: Last Light||Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||Deep Silver|
|2014||Metro: Redux||Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Stadia, Xbox One|
|2017||Arktika.1||Microsoft Windows||Oculus Studios|
|2019||Metro Exodus||Amazon Luna, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S||Deep Silver|
- The two studios comprise the former headquarters in Kyiv, Ukraine, as well as the current headquarters in Malta.
- Keighley, Geoff (11 June 2017). "Metro: Exodus Developer Interview". YouTube. Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- "Embracer Group Acquires 4A Games" (Press release). Embracer Group. 13 August 2020. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
- Wordsworth, Rich (28 January 2014). "Games from the Real-World Post-Apocalypse". IGN. Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Hall, Charlie (8 September 2013). "Stalker fallout: Polygon traces the exodus from Kiev's legendary GSC Game World". Polygon. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Crecente, Brian (22 October 2009). "Metro 2033 Shooter Brings Apocalypse to Moscow". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Metro 2033 Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Williamson, Steven (6 June 2011). "E3 2011: Metro: Last Light announcement trailer". Hexus. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Bradford, Matt (3 February 2012). "THQ delays Metro: Last Light, seeks help with Warhammer 40K MMO". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Corriea, Alexa Ray (23 January 2013). "Koch Media offers $22.3M for Volition and $5.8M for 4A Games' Metro franchise in THQ auction". Polygon. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Karmali, Luke (1 March 2013). "Metro: Last Light Release Date Announced". IGN. Archived from the original on 22 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- McWhertor, Michael (22 May 2014). "Metro 2033 and Last Light get remastered Redux on PS4, Xbox One and PC this summer". Polygon. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Chalk, Andy (6 October 2016). "Metro 2033 developer announces Arktika.1, an Oculus Touch-exclusive FPS". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
- Dornbush, Jonathon (11 June 2017). "E3 2017: Metro Exodus Announced for 2018". IGN. Archived from the original on 11 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
- Donnelly, Joe (16 May 2018). "Metro Exodus delayed to 2019". Archived from the original on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- Hall, Charlie (20 August 2014). "Ukraine's 4A Games lands in Malta: 'We are not betrayers'". Polygon. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Kerr, Chris (13 August 2020). "THQ parent company Embracer has purchased Metro dev 4A Games and others". Gamasutra. Retrieved 13 August 2020.