Gearbox Entertainment Co., an award-winning creator and distributor of transmedia entertainment, has launched Gearbox Gives, a new initiative that organizes and directs the studio’s philanthropic work.
The Frisco-based company, a member of the Embracer Group AB family of companies, said the initiative’s mission is to harness the power of entertainment to educate, inspire, and create. Gearbox Gives’ work encompasses Gearbox’s educational and philanthropic programs, and its community partnerships and initiatives, according to Gearbox.
“Gearbox has been committed to using our platform and the power of entertainment for good since our founding, and Gearbox Gives is a continuation and expansion of that work,” Randy Pitchford, founder of both Gearbox Gives and the Gearbox Entertainment Co., said in a statement. “As Gearbox has grown in recent years, our impact on the world around us must grow as well. By launching Gearbox Gives, we’ll be able to build upon the work we have already done to use our platform for good.”
Gearbox Entertainment was acquired in 2021 by the Swedish-based global games giant Embracer Group as a wholly-owned subsidiary, in a transaction worth up to $1.3 billion.
Connecting games to STEM education
Gearbox Gives’ executive director is Aaron Thibault, vice president of strategic operations at Gearbox.
Thibault has led the development of partnerships with local higher education institutions to provide vital professional resources; facilitated a mentorship program for local high school students; and serves as the Strategic Leadership Committee Chair on the Workforce Solutions of North Central Texas board, representing Frisco and regional workforce needs, Gearbox said.
Thibault also led Gearbox’s efforts to develop a video game-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum in Texas’s Longview Independent School District. And he adapted this work to remotely teach students in Nairobi, Kenya the basics of game design and programming.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to continue expanding Gearbox’s ongoing commitment to advance social good in our community and the world through the creation of Gearbox Gives,” Thibault said in a statement. “The potential of entertainment and the Gearbox community is limitless. Our work will support communities close to home and around the world, bolster access to high-quality STEM education, advance philanthropic efforts, and more.”
Supporting communities and students
Gearbox’s has a demonstrated history of using its platform, games, and resources to advance social causes.
Those efforts include creating Borderlands Science — a citizen science game that is helping to map the human gut microbiome; providing video game–based STEM education to students from Texas to Kenya to Los Angeles; raising thousands of dollars to purchase personal protective equipment for medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic; and supporting reforestation efforts.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic was at its worst, the Gearbox team stepped up and activated its community to support frontline healthcare workers,” said Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief, an international humanitarian organization that partnered with Gearbox to donate PPE in July 2020. “Direct Relief was deeply grateful for this generosity during the most critical time of the pandemic and looks forward to seeing the continued impact of Gearbox Gives.”
Longview ISD officials said they are grateful for Gearbox’s support provided to the school district.
“Their involvement has allowed us to enhance our curriculum, offer new and exciting opportunities to our students, and better prepare them for success in the 21st century workforce,” Horace Williams, deputy superintendent of Longview ISD, said in a statement. “We are confident that the skills and experiences gained through this program will have a lasting impact on our students’ futures and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Gearbox for years to come.”
More than video games
Gearbox Entertainment is well known for successful game franchises, as well as acquired properties Duke Nukem and Homeworld, which it distributes across the world.
The company is composed of four subsidiaries: Gearbox Software, Gearbox Publishing, Gearbox Studio, and Gearbox Properties.
Gearbox Software was founded in 1999 by a team of industry veterans, and is known for developing hit video games and franchises such as Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Brothers in Arms, and Borderlands.
Gearbox Publishing was established in 2016 with the goal of helping developers around the world bring their products to market while retaining their unique creative visions.
Founded in 2022, Gearbox Studios creates cutting-edge transmedia opportunities including the upcoming movies based on Borderlands and Duke Nukem, and the series based on Brothers in Arms. Gearbox Properties was founded that same year to manage Gearbox’s intellectual property across all products, mediums, and merchandise categories.
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