Embracer Group has announced its latest acquisition and it's another big one. Making a deal with Square Enix for $300 million, this sees them set to acquire Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal.
Sharing the news in a press release (opens in new tab), this acquisition also includes IP rights to several big franchises, including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain, and "more than 50 back-catalogue games from Square Enix Holdings." It's a surprisingly low amount given what's on offer here, though Square Enix has often expressed disappointment at sales (opens in new tab) for Western games.
Embracer confirms this deal affects 1,100 employees and that, if it passes, will be expected to close between July to September this year. Speaking further, Lars Wingefors, co-founder and group CEO, stated ”We are thrilled to welcome these studios into the Embracer Group. We recognize the fantastic IP, world class creative talent, and track record of excellence that have been demonstrated time and again over the past decades. It has been a great pleasure meeting the leadership teams and discussing future plans for how they can realize their ambitions and become a great part of Embracer.”
Releasing its own statement, Square Enix revealed this transaction "enables the launch of new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud."
Square Enix says the transaction (which was only $300 million) "enables the launch of new businesses bymoving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud." SE still has Just Cause, Outriders, Life is Strange More: https://t.co/acRNj9xYv5 pic.twitter.com/2ORwCoJItIMay 2, 2022
It's unknown what these remaining 50 games are, though Embracer confirmed this deal includes the "next mainline Tomb Raider game." Announced during Epic’s recent State of Unreal event, Crystal Dynamics revealed it utilises Unreal Engine 5. Back in April, Tomb Raider franchise general manager Dallas Dickinson the new engine “translates into next-level storytelling and gameplay experiences.”
Otherwise, Square Enix confirmed this won't affect other overseas studios, stating that "Going forward, the Company’s development function will comprise its studios in Japan, Square Enix External Studios, and Square Enix Collective." So, it'll continue publishing Just Cause, Outriders, and Life is Strange.
Who is the Embracer Group?
We've all seen Microsoft and Sony's acquisition war in recent years, seeing big names like Bethesda and Bungie move into these respective teams. But the Sweden-based Embracer Group's been making several major acquisitions of its own, prominently acquiring Borderlands developer Gearbox Entertainment (opens in new tab) last year.
That's increased in the last few years and right now, the company has several other big names under their belt: THQ Nordic, Koch Media/Deep Silver, Coffee Stain AB, Amplifier Game Invest, Saber Interactive, 3D Realms, Aspyr Media, and so many more. In total, there's over 100 internal studios within Embracer.
We can expect some big projects across the next few years from Embracer too. Alongside big hitters like the Saints Row reboot and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake, Deep Silver confirmed its plans to reform Free Radical Design last May, announcing a new TimeSplitters game is in development.