The Swedish Economic Crime Authority has raided Overkill’s The Walking Dead and Payday 2 publisher Starbreeze Studios’ headquarters and arrested an unnamed suspect for insider trading. Computers were also seized.
“The Swedish Economic Crime Authority has carried out a series of house searches regarding suspicion of insider trading at Starbreeze studios,” the Swedish Economic Crime Authority tweeted (via Eurogamer). “One of the searches was carried out at the offices of Starbreeze studios in Stockholm. One person has been arrested and detained.”
According to a statement sent to GamesIndustry.biz, Starbreeze itself is not under any suspicion of wrongdoing and is fully cooperating with authorities in the investigation.
It’s been a rough several days for Overkill’s The Walking Dead publisher Starbreeze Studios. First, it announced it was cutting development costs on the recently released Walking Dead, right before launching the first chapter of the game’s second season of content. Even worse, earlier this week, Starbreeze fired its CEO and filed for reconstruction, which is basically the Swedish equivalent of bankruptcy.
A report from Breakit (via IGN) states several executives recently sold their shares of the company before leaving their positions, including CFO Sebastian Ahlskog and former CEO Bo Andersson Klint. This occurred just before Andersson’s exit and Starbreeze’s announcement that it was filing for reconstruction. It seems likely that whoever is suspected of insider trading knew that these events were occurring and sold off their equity prior to the company’s stock price dropping 75 to 80 percent.