Square Enix is selling Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and its Western studios
The studios and game properties will become part of Embracer Group
Square Enix is selling off its three main Western game studios, as well as the video game assets -- which include big names like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex as well as Thief. The properties and studios are scheduled to be taken over from Embracer Group for an estimated $300 million. Following approvals from regulators, the purchase is scheduled to be completed between the months of July and September this year.
In all, Embracer is acquiring Crystal Dynamics Eidos-Montreal, Eidos Montreal as well as Square Enix Montreal, which will result in "1,100 employees across three studios and eight global locations." Regarding games Embracer will be the owner of brands such as Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain, "along with continued sales and operations of the studios' more than 50 back-catalogue games," according to Embracer. In addition to other games currently being developed, Crystal Dynamics recently announced that it is working on a brand-new Tomb Raider title.
Embracer is a quiet publishing firm that operates around 100 different studios which include such as Borderlands developers Gearbox, Saber Interactive, and THQ Nordic. Embracer also owns comics and the entertainment company Dark Horse. Embracer claims that, once the agreement that it has with Square Enix closes, it will be able to boast a total of 14,000 employees.
"We are thrilled to welcome these studios into the Embracer Group," co-founder and CEO Lars Wingefors said in a statement. "We acknowledge the amazing IP as well as the world-class creativity and a the track record of excellence that have been proven repeatedly in the last few decades. It was a wonderful satisfaction meeting the management teams and discussing the future strategies to reach their goals and be an integral member of Embracer."
Square Enix originally began its shift towards Western games in the year 2009 following the acquisition Eidos Interactive, during which time it was responsible for the development of new Hitman, Tomb Raider, and Deus Ex releases as well as an expansion into the original Marvel games. In the year 2017, Hitman developer IO Interactive split from Square Enix to create an independently-owned studio. Despite this, Square Enix isn't completely away from the Western scene. the company announced it will continue to release games like Just cause, Life is Strange and Outriders games.
The announcement comes at an extremely busy period for acquisitions of video games. Sony is purchasing Destiny game developer Bungie at $3.6 billion, Take-Two paid $12.7 billion to acquire FarmVille maker Zynga and in the largest deal of its kind, Microsoft is set to buy Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion.