We’re increasingly used to big-budget studio acquisitions these days. In the past year alone, Microsoft has snapped up Activision, and Bungie is now a PlayStation studio. The latest news is perhaps the most surprising, as Square Enix sells off its Western game studios for a surprisingly low fee. That means franchises like Tomb Raider and Thief are now at a different home. Read on to learn all about this shocking and slightly inexplicable Square Enix news.
Square Enix Makes Western Acquisition Deal With Embracer
In a deal that came out of nowhere, Square Enix has sold its Western game studios to Embracer. The publisher, best known for also owning THQ, now holds the rights to Eidos Montreal, Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix Montreal. The deal is worth a rumored $300 million, a surprisingly low fee given the caliber of IP on offer.
Among those IP are Tomb Raider, Thief, Deus Ex, and most recently Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. At present, there haven’t been any game announcements since the acquisition. However, it’s hard not to imagine new entries in most of these franchises in the near future. A new Tomb Raider game was announced by Crystal Dynamics in April 2022, though franchises like Thief and Deus Ex have been dormant for years.
Fans have greeted the news with a mixture of apprehension and bafflement. That’s due to the relatively low fee when considering the reputation of the franchises on offer. In legal documents confirming the deal, Square Enix said the sale was to shift focus to “blockchain, AI, and the cloud” technology. Equally, their Western games fell below internal sales expectations. Last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy supposedly “undershot” projected sales, as per Representative Director Yosuke Matsuda.
While Square Enix may be focusing more on emerging digital trends, it’ll be interesting to see how Embracer handles their new studios. Expect to see a lot more of Lara Croft, Adam Jensen, and more in the future.
Luke Hinton is a freelance culture journalist living in Cardiff, Wales. He graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism, Media and Communications, and currently balances his freelancing work with postgraduate studies. He specialises in film, TV and entertainment writing.