Square Enix sells up western studios in $300 million Embracer deal

By Luke Albigés,

Embracer Group has announced that it has entered an agreement with Square Enix that will see the publisher pick up Crystal Dynamics and Eidos/SE Montréal, as well as IPs like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, for 'just' $300 million.

A detailed post on Embracer's site outlines the deal, which will place Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal under the Embracer umbrella, along with around "1,100 employees across three studios and eight global locations." As for games, the deal will include "a catalogue of IPs including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain, and more than 50 back-catalogue games." Square Enix's own press release clarifies its reasons for selling up, stating that "the transaction enables the launch of new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud."

Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, and other major series will be affected by the $300 million deal

A Criminal Past Screens"I never asked for this..."

This deal comes after Square Enix has encountered ongoing issues with its western wing, from the Tomb Raider reboot selling millions of copies but still apparently performing below expectations, to the more recent flop of Marvel's Avengers as the lukewarm game chased live service money without the content to back it up. It's worth noting that Square isn't completely pulling out of the west with this deal — the press release also states that Square "will continue to publish franchises such as Just Cause, Outriders, and Life is Strange."

There's also the matter of the costing, which seems like a steal for the quality of the studios and properties offered, especially when the likes of Microsoft are throwing around billions at Bethesda and Activision Blizzard, while Sony has valued Destiny developer Bungie at 12 times the price of this deal. Embracer also notes that it has "secured additional long-term debt funding commitments for this and other transactions in the pipeline," so there could be other similar announcements still to come with other deals. The acquisition still needs to go through all of the relevant regulatory channels, but is expected to complete by September this year.

What do you make of this news? Disappointed to see Square selling off such big names to seemingly fund an NFT drive? Are you as happy as I am to see Legacy of Kain get an official shoutout? Let's hear it!
Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Luke runs the TA news team, contributing where he can primarily with reviews and other long-form features — crafts he has honed across two decades of print and online gaming media experience, having worked with the likes of gamesTM, Eurogamer, Play, Retro Gamer, Edge, and many more. He loves all things Monster Hunter, enjoys a good D&D session, and has played way too much Destiny.