Embracer Group buys studios from Square Enix

Embracer Group announced last Monday the acquisition of the American and Canadian studios of the Japanese publisher Square Enix for only 285 million euros. With this major acquisition, the Swedish company adds more than fifty games to its catalog and seizes several intellectual properties, including Deus Ex and tomb Raider.

Square Enix keeps a few series

On Monday May 2, 2022, the Swedish firm Embracer bought American studios from the Japanese group Square Enix for only 285 million euros. These are Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, plus a catalog of IPs. This includes prestigious licenses such as Deus Ex and Thief, tomb Raider and Legacy of Kain. Embracer thus seizes more than 50 games from Square Enix’s back-catalogue. However, the Japanese publisher retains the distribution rights for the series. Life is Strange, Outriders and JustCause. He explains that this operation should allow him to invest in promising technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and the cloud.

Prestigious licenses in the portfolio

Founded in 1992 by David Shannon Morse, Crystal Dynamics is an American AAA action-adventure game developer acquired in 1998 by Eidos Interactive, itself acquired in 2009 by Square Enix. He notably produced Rise of the Tomb Raider and Legacy of Kain Defiance. It has nearly 300 employees in its offices in San Mateo (California), Bellevue (Washington) and Austin (Texas). Eidos Montreal was founded in 2007 by Eidos Interactive. This studio also develops AAA games such as Thief 4, Deus Ex Human Revolution and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. It has nearly 500 employees working in Montreal, Sherbrooke and Shanghai.

A creative team of nearly 1,000 employees

As for Square Enix Montreal, it was created in 2011. This mobile game house produced “Hitman”, tomb Raider and Deus Ex, among others. It has nearly 150 employees divided between its offices in Montreal and London. All of the studios acquired by Embracer Group thus represent a creative team of nearly 1,000 employees spread over three studios and eight global sites. The Swedish publisher now manages more than 14,000 employees and 124 studios. It therefore becomes a heavyweight in the segment of console and PC games, all genres combined. The actual takeover is expected to take place in the third quarter of 2022.

Maximize the potential of franchises

Embracer Group has already produced around a hundred video games in partnership with its studios. We can cite Borderlands (Gearbox), Darksiders (Gunfire Games), Shadow Warrior (Flying Wild Hog) and ELEX (Piranha Bytes). The company also owns the board game publisher Asmodee, bought in 2021 for 3 billion euros. Considering this amount, the sum for the takeover of Square Enix seems very ridiculous.

Unsurprisingly, Lars Wingefors, co-founder and CEO of Embracer Group, says he is delighted with this new operation with the Japanese publisher. He salutes the “fantastic licensing, world-class creative talent and track record of excellence” of the author of Final Fantasy. According to him, his qualities correspond perfectly to the ambitions of his group. The latter will be able to “forge new partnerships” and “maximize the potential” of its franchises, he said.

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Embracer Group buys studios from Square Enix

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