Square Enix is selling iconic video game franchise
Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and Sqbrre Enix Montreal are being sold off to the Embracer Group.

The iconic Tomb Raider video game franchise is being sold by its Japanese publisher Square Enix to Embracer Group as part of a $300 million deal.

Embracer Group will acquire three of Square Enix’s Western studios, along with their franchises and back-catalogues. That’s Tomb Raider’s Crystal Dynamics, Guardians of the Galaxy (and Deus Ex) developer Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal (Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go).

The two publishers announced the $300 million cash transaction this morning, confirming that the deal includes over 50 IPs. The acquisition adds around 1,100 new employees to Embracer across the three studios’ eight worldwide locations.

“The portfolio of IP consists of iconic franchises appreciated by critics and players alike. For example, two original IPs, Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, have sold AAA units of ~88M and ~12M, respectively,” Embracer said in a press release.

“Embracer sees an opportunity to invest in these franchises, as well as the additional acquired IPs such as Legacy of Kain, Thief, and other original franchises. The acquisition also includes the continued sales and operations of the studios’ more than 50 back-catalogue games.”

In its own press release, Square Enix confirmed that its Western arm will continue to publish Just Cause, Outriders, and Life is Strange. The Square Enix Collective will also continue alongside its External Studios brands.

Marvel’s Avengers, which Crystal Dynamics is still supporting, was not mentioned in today’s announcement, so it will likely continue to be owned by Square Enix – at least for as long as the license agreement with Disney holds.

The deal “enables the launch of new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud,” Square Enix said in a statement announcing the news.

The company’s commitment to ramp up spending in blockchain — the technology behind many cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens — led to some backlash on social media. One user said the move was “like selling your house for magic beans.

Square Enix, which is best known for its popular Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts games, acquired ownership of the Tomb Raider series after buying Eidos Interactive in 2009.

It is now set to become the property of Sweden’s Embracer, with the company expecting the deal will be approved and finalized by the end of September.

We know that Crystal Dynamics is working on a new Tomb Raider in Unreal Engine 5, alongside assisting Microsoft’s The Initiative with development of the Perfect Dark reboot. After the so-so launch of Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s not clear what Eidos Montreal’s next project is going to be. But Square Enix said it will continue to publish titles from other international franchises, including Just Cause, Outriders and Life is Strange.

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