Breaking overnight, Square Enix have entered into an agreement to sell Eidos Montréal, Square Enix Montréal and Crystal Dynamics to Embracer Group in a $300 million dollar deal that includes IP like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain. Embracer Group is a conglomerate of many game studios, most notably Gearbox Software, THQ Nordic, and others. Embracer expects the transaction to be approved by the pertinent regulatory bodies and completed by July to September of this year.
In a statement today, the stated reason for the sale will “assist [Square Enix] in adapting to changes underway win the global business environment by establishing a more efficient allocation of resources.” It’s also stated that the deal will help the company “move forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud” and to realign their other overseas publishers under the Japanese branch, such as Square Enix External Studios, Square Enix Collective, and will continue to publish franchises related to Just Cause, Outriders, and Life is Strange.
Eidos Montréal has 500 employees across Canada and China, Square Enix Montréal includes 150 employees in Canda and the UK, and Crystal Dynamics has 300 employees across the United States including the new Crystal Northwest studio launched recently in Bellevue, WA.
The sale to Embracer Group comes at a time when both Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montréal’s ventures into Marvel properties didn’t see the return Square Enix was hoping for. The left turn away from franchises they had been building for years at the direction of Square Enix’s management seems to have been difficult for both studios as Marvel’s Avengers was met with mixed reviews and Guardians of the Galaxy, despite being quite good, never met Square Enix management’s typically high (some might say “unrealistic”) sales expectations.