Square Enix sells Tomb Raider, Deus Ex & Thief Studios (and also their games)

Tomb Raider & Deus Ex

Picture: Square Enix

Embracer Group, a planet-swallowing mass of video game publishers that already includes people like Gearbox and THQ Nordicannounced tonight an agreement to purchase a number of storey studios and properties from Square Enix.

Although the purchase is not final – this is just an “agreement to acquire” them until everything is signed later in the year – the press release says that if approved, it will be a $ 300 million deal. For the $ 300 million, Embracer will get hold of:

  • The studios Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal (the latter of which will probably be involved in a name change), number around 1100 employees worldwide.
  • The “Catalog of IPs” owned and / or worked on by these studies, including Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, Thief, inheritance from Cain and “the continued sale and operation of the studios’ more than 50 back catalog games”. Also of interest: “Crystal Dynamics is actively working on several AAA projects, including the next mainline Tomb Raider game that will deliver next-generation storytelling and gameplay experiences.”

Square Enix acquired Eidos (and Crystal Dynamics along with it) in 2009, and while they originally monitored a number of well-received reboots of series such as Tomb Raider and Deus Exlater games in these properties – along with licensed bets such as The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxybecame something of a meme in recent years, as no matter how high their review results ended up being, or how many copies they would sell, Square Enix would always say that the games had “underperformed”.

Perhaps knowing that the first question most people would have after a deal like this would be “so what happens to those series?”, Embracer’s press release says:

The acquisition brings a compelling pipeline of new installments from beloved franchises and original IPs, including a new Tomb Raider game. The acquisition is based on Embracer’s mission to create a leading independent global gaming and entertainment ecosystem. Embracer has been particularly impressed by the studios’ rich portfolio of original IPs, housing brands with proven global potential such as Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, as well as demonstrating the ability to create AAA games with large and growing fan bases. There are compelling opportunities to cultivate the studies organically to maximize their commercial opportunities.

Which is vague, but still more hopeful for fans of something similar Deus Ex than Square Enix’s complete silence and neglect in recent years. The acquisition “is expected to be completed during the second quarter of Embracer’s financial year 22/23 (July-September 2022).

note that Embracer spent $ 1.3 billion on the Gearbox. To get it all thisfrom the experienced studios to the beloved properties for $ 1 billion less seems … like a steal.

So why sell? Square Enix’s own press release says:

The transaction will help the company adapt to the changes that are taking place in the global business environment by establishing a more efficient allocation of resources, which will improve business value by accelerating the growth of the company’s core business in the digital entertainment domain. In addition, the Transaction enables the launch of new companies by forward with investments in areas including blockchain, artificial intelligence and the cloud.

Imagine having to put it on your resume you sold Tomb Raider to at least partially fund some blockchain shit.