Swedish holding company Embracer Group has finalised its acquisition of several of Square Enix’s Western subsidiaries for $300 million.
Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal will all now exist under the Embracer Group umbrella, with Embracer gaining development and publishing rights to several franchises such as Tomb Raider, Thief, and Legacy of Kain.
The deal is just the latest in a string of big purchases for Embracer Group, who recently purchased the rights to the Lord of The Rings franchise, and game companies such as Tuxedo Labs and Tripwire Interactive.
Despite appearances, Square Enix have reaffirmed their commitment to expanding its presence in the West by forming new studios, including the recently announced Studio Onoma.
It’s notable that, while Embracer Group now holds the rights for some large franchises, many of those franchises haven’t seen a new release in some time. The acquisition is set to include some fifty back catalogue titles, and of the highlighted franchises only Tomb Raider has seen a new release in recent years.
Could this revive dead franchises?
Speaking in May, Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingeforse stated: “The announcement got an overwhelming and positive response. We see great potential, not only in sequels but also in remakes, remasters, spin-offs as well as transmedia projects across the group.”
Square Enix, however, are retaining the rights to several popular franchises and titles which are either more recent or still ongoing, such as the adventure series Life is Strange or multiplayer title Outriders, which was released in 2021.
This acquisition could allow Square Enix to focus on its already packed slate of upcoming releases while breathing new life into several legacy IPs. For example, the Legacy of Kain franchise, which is highlighted in the original press release, hasn't seen a new game released since 2003's defiance. Given the vast increases in mobile technology, it's certainly possible that we could see some beloved franchises from the back catalogue making their way into the mobile space.
This year, we listed Embracer Group as one of our top 50 mobile game makers.