Skip to main content

Embracer fully acquires former Square Enix western studios

The acquisition of Square Enix’s western studios and their IP by Embracer Group has been approved, completing the acquisition of the major studios and over 50 IPs including Tomb Raider and Deus Ex.

While the purchase was announced in May, the conditions and approvals for the deal were not finalized until August 26, fully completing the transaction as detailed on Embracer’s official site. The newly acquired studios are set to form Embracer’s 12th operative group led by Phil Rogers. Further details, likely in regards to the name of this operative group and a new name for Square Enix Montreal, are expected at a later date.

The Embracer Group, formerly THQ Nordic AB, is one of the largest companies in the video game industry with over 850 franchises owned or controlled, 120 development studios, and nearly 13,000 employees and contractors spread across its various studios and divisions. The company acquired numerous smaller studios over the years but ramped up over time with acquisitions for companies like Gearbox Entertainment. In May, it purchased all of Square Enix’s western studios, including Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal, as well as their IP, for $300 million.

Embracer clearly isn’t done making acquisitions, as the company acquired not only additional game studios such as Bitwave Game and Tripwire Interactive but also the rights to The Lord of the Rings via Middle-earth Enterprises in the months after this Square Enix deal was announced. The gaming industry has seen more acquisitions and consolidation in the last few years than ever before. While most look at Microsoft and Sony’s recent moves in expanding their first-party studios, companies like Embracer and Tencent still dwarf the two console makers by the sheer number of acquisitions.

Editors' Recommendations

Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
Foamstars is Square Enix’s spin on Splatoon
Foamstars girl character holding her weapon towards the camera.

Square Enix is joining the competitive multiplayer scene with a new game that somehow gives vibes of Splatoon, Persona, and Overwatch all at the same time. The fresh face is called Foamstars, and from what we've been shown so far, it's an original take on third-person shooters with a whole lot of colorful foam and poppy style.

Foamstars - Reveal Trailer | PlayStation Showcase 2023

Read more
Square Enix’s free AI game isn’t selling me on the tech’s power
A crime scene appears in The Portopia Serial Murder Case.

At this year’s Game Developers Conference, AI made headlines. Several talks revolved around the evolving tech, with developers discussing how it could be integrated into games. That was a controversial topic during the show, but one presentation seemed to wow attendees. Square Enix hosted a 30-minute live demo of an AI mystery game that showed how the tech could be a force for good, giving players more control over what they say and having NPCs that respond to prompts accordingly.


Read more
Square Enix is releasing a free AI-driven mystery game next week
square enix free ai tech preview the portopia serial murder case

As tools like ChatGPT become more powerful and popular in the mainstream, the potential of an advanced AI in a video game that can naturally understand and respond to player instructions has emerged. Now, Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix is testing the waters of this technology with a new, free game launching on Steam next week called Square Enix AI Tech Preview: The Portopia Serial Murder Case.
Releasing on April 24, this tech preview is based on Enix's 1983 murder mystery adventure game The Portopia Serial Murder Case. It recreates that game, replacing the restrictive noun- and verb-based commands of the original with an AI partner that players can speak to. Using natural language processing and understanding, that partner will take the player's commands and respond accordingly.
This version of The Portopia Serial Murder Case has the potential to feel less restrictive than the original, as it may understand what the player wants to do even if they don't type in the exact command from the original verbatim. This AI tech preview even supports automatic speech recognition, so players can speak to the AI rather than typing commands if they want. 
One thing it doesn't have is natural language generation to reply to questions that it doesn't have a prewritten response for. Square Enix explains on the game's website that Square Enix AI Tech Preview: The Portopia Serial Murder Case originally did feature this technology, but the developers in its AI Division decided not to include it at release "because there remains a risk of the AI generating unethical replies." However, Square Enix says it might reintroduce this feature to the tech preview "as soon as our research succeeds in creating an environment in which players can enjoy the experience with peace of mind."

Don't expect your AI partner to defy your instructions and tell you that it wants to be human. Still, this is definitely one of the most intriguing uses of advanced language-based AI in a video game yet. Square Enix AI Tech Preview: The Portopia Serial Murder Case will be free to play on April 24 via Steam.

Read more