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Person arrested following Starbreeze office raid

Swedish authorities suspect insider trading.

By Wesley Yin-Poole. 5/12/2018

It just got a lot worse for the embattled video game company Starbreeze, which has suffered a raid on its offices by Swedish authorities.

The company behind the Payday franchise was raided Wednesday morning due to suspicion of insider trading, Swedish financial website Dagens Industri reports.

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Officials from the Swedish Economic Crime Authority were seen carrying away computers from Starbreeze's central Stockholm headquarters. A person was arrested, but authorities have yet to name them. A spokesperson for the Swedish Economic Crime Authority confirmed the action in an email to Eurogamer. In a tweet, it issued the following statement (translated for Eurogamer by a native Swedish speaker):

"The Swedish Economic Crime Authority has carried out a series of house searches regarding suspicion of insider trading at Starbreeze studios. One of the searches was carried out at the offices of Starbreeze studios in Stockholm. One person has been arrested and detained."

Starbreeze has had an awful time of it lately. As we reported earlier this week, the company is desperately trying to save itself from going out of business after a string of high-profile flops.

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Following the commercial failure of Overkill's The Walking Dead, Starbreeze filed for "reconstruction" with the Stockholm District Court - an alternative to bankruptcy that would give it breathing room to find the money it needs to pay off debts.

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.

Tellingly, CEO Bo Andersson recently left the company, with deputy CEO Mikael Nermark acting CEO.

It all sounds pretty grim for Starbreeze, and recent events cast doubt over the future of the Payday franchise, including ongoing work on Payday 2 and development of Payday 3.

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