Tomb Raider, Deus Ex Studios Acquired By Embracer Group
Following the acquisition of numerous notable developers over the last few years, Embracer Group has now set its sights on Square Enix. No, the entire company isn’t being sold, but Embracer has officially made moves to acquire a trio of the publisher’s most noteworthy studios: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal. Fans might formally recognize these studios as the teams behind the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex franchises, and more recently, the superhero battler Marvel’s Avengers.
Embracer Group recently announced its acquisition plans, bringing the Square Enix subsidiaries under its considerable umbrella for a grand total of $300 million USD. The high-profile buy is confirmed to include 1,100 employees across each studio, eight global locations, and “more than 50 back-catalogue games,” including the likes of Legacy of Kain, Thief, as well as the aforementioned Tomb Raider and Deus Ex IPs. Pending regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in Q2 of Embracer’s 2022/2023 financial calendar, between July and September of this year.
On the other side of the coin, Square Enix released their own press release acknowledging the acquisition and explaining its reasoning behind the decision. According to the company, selling Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal was deemed necessary in “establishing a more efficient allocation of resources,” allowing the acceleration of “core businesses,” the launch of new ones, and investments in technology such as “blockchain, AI, and the cloud.”
In selling to Embracer Group, Square Enix will take this opportunity to “align [the company’s] overseas publishing function with [its] organization in Tokyo,” focusing development efforts on its studios in Japan, Square Enix External Studios, and Square Enix Collective. However, Square Enix will still continue to publish for several franchises, specifically naming Just Cause, Outriders, and Life is Strange in the press release. Microsoft’s partnership with Crystal Dynamics on a Perfect Dark game is also planned to continue following the deal’s closure.
Formerly a simple parent company of THQ Nordic, Embracer Group has been on a years-long acquisition spree dating back as far as 2019, beginning with lower-profile buys like Little Nightmares dev Tarsier Studios. Before today’s purchase of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, Embracer had already collected Metro maker 4A Games, Saber Interactive, KOTOR remake developer Aspyr, and even Borderlands publisher Gearbox over the last few years. They’ve shown no signs of slowing down either, with dozens more acquisitions expected to take place in 2022 alone.
As it stands, it’s unknown how this new buy may affect the goings-on at Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal, but there’s still plenty of time to figure it out before the deal closes later in 2022. Eidos-Montreal recently brought down the house with its recent Guardians of the Galaxy game, and Crystal Dynamics currently takes the lead on Marvel’s Avengers, pushing out regular live-service updates and free DLC characters, with the next being Jane Foster, the female iteration of Thor.
What do you think? Are you surprised that the likes of Tomb Raider and Deus Ex are now embraced by Embracer Group, or were you already expecting these types of acquisitions to ramp up in the near future? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day!
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.