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Square Enix sells Tomb Raider, Deus Ex developers to Embracer

Square Enix has offloaded its North American operations as it announced the sale of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal to Embracer Group today. The deal also nets Embracer Group over 50 notable franchises such as Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain.

Crystal Dynamics is best known for its work on the Tomb Raider franchise, though it recently released the tumultuous live service Marvel’s Avengers game.  Eidos Montreal is behind series like Deus Ex and recently garnered critical acclaim following the release of Guardians of the Galaxy. Square Enix Montreal is a mobile-focused studio that makes games like Lara Croft GO and Hitman Sniper

Animated image of Lara Croft pursued by an aircraft.

Embracer Group is purchasing the three studios, which employ over 1,100 developers, for only $300 million. The status of certain series like Sleeping Dogs and Gex, as well as the status of the Marvel deal that spawned Marvel’s Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy game, are still in question. As of now, the only announced game from these studios is a brand-new Tomb Raider that will run on Unreal Engine 5, though the related press release says Crystal Dynamics is “actively working on several AAA projects.”

Meanwhile, the announcement says the Eidos Montreal “is working on a host of AAA projects including both new releases from beloved franchises and original IP,” and that Square Enix Montreal “will continue to develop and operate memorable mobile games based on AAA IP.” Embracer is interested in these studios’ potential to make single-player AAA titles for PC, consoles, and mobile and all of the classic series that come with them. 

While it’s not the best-known gaming company, Embracer Group is much bigger than you might think. This European holding company owns a massive range of developers and publishers from around the world. THQ Nordic, Deep Silver, Gearbox, Saber Interactive, Coffee Stain, and all of those studios’ subsidiaries are owned by Embracer. The company even has holdings outside of video games, as it recently acquired Asmodee and Dark Horse.

These former Square Enix studios and the franchises that come with them will simply beef up the company’s already massive offerings. Embracer and Square Enix expect this deal to close between July and September 2022.

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