Why is Square Enix dropping Tomb Raider and several other franchises?

Why is Square Enix dropping Tomb Raider and several other franchises?

Square Enix is ​​selling several of its studios, including Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider) and Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex). What will this change for these franchises?

After Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, this is another very important takeover that is shaking up the video game industry. The Japanese firm Square Enix has decided to sell several of its studios to the highest bidder and at the same time drops many successful franchises. Among them, tomb Raider and Two Exwhich now belong to another large video game group (and no, it’s not yet Microsoft, or even Sony).

For those who know Square Enix for their franchise Final Fantasydon’t worry, nothing changes on that side. Indeed, the firm has decided to separate from its Western studios, ie those based outside of Japan. These are Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal. The latter will of course be renamed after the purchase is finalized.

Because indeed, Square Enix has already found a buyer ready to take over some of the most iconic licenses in the video game world. The Embracer group, which owns THQ Nordic and Gearbox, among others, is the proud owner of these new studios. The two groups have therefore signed an agreement, which is worth nearly 300 million dollars. Far from the billions that are usually at stake during a takeover by Sony or Microsoft, but it remains an important acquisition, especially vis-à-vis the various licenses.

What future for franchises?

Fans are aware that several games are being prepared within these studios, including an upcoming opus by tomb Raider. It is not expected for several months or even years, but it is currently under development at Crystal Dynamics. A few weeks ago, the studio said:

“We have just begun development of our next game Tomb Raider, powered by Unreal Engine 5. Our goal is to push the boundaries of fidelity and deliver the high-quality, cinematic action-adventure experience fans deserve. from Crystal Dynamics and the Tomb Raider franchise.”

For the moment, the project does not seem to be aborted. In a press release, Embracer explains:

“The acquisition brings a compelling pipeline of new releases from well-known franchises and original IPs, including a new Tomb Raider game. Embracer was particularly impressed with the studios’ rich portfolio of original IP, home to brands with proven global potential such as Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, which demonstrate their ability to create AAA games with large and growing fanbases. . There are exciting opportunities for studios to grow organically to maximize their business opportunities.

Why such a decision ?

If the gain seems clear for Embracer, players may find it difficult to understand Square Enix’s choice. It seems that the firm wants to focus on other, very different projects. In its own press release, Square Enix explains that it wants to carry out a transition to the areas of blockchain, NFT and cloud gaming.

This transaction will help the company adapt to the ongoing changes in the global business environment by establishing a more efficient allocation of resources, which will improve the value of the company by accelerating the growth of the company’s core businesses in the field. digital entertainment. Additionally, the transaction will launch new business by advancing investments in areas such as blockchain, AI and cloud.

A project so we don’t know anything yet, but which should take shape within the next few months. Until the takeover is fully effective, by the summer of 2022, the two groups should remain discreet about their future plans.

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