Embracer Group Acquires Square Enix’s Western Studios

Embracer Group, the company that owns THQ Nordiq, Koch Media and Gearbox Entertainment, has jumped into the 2022 acquisition party, picking up the entire western development arm of Square Enix for $300 million. The move will see studios, including Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, 1,100 employees across three studios and eight global locations and IPs including Tomb Raider, Deux Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain fall under the scope of the Swedish media holding group.

The announcement was made public via a blog on Embracer’s website and will be the 62nd acquisition for the company since the start of 2020, with all purchases totalling a spend of a cool $8.1 billion.

Embracer Group AB (“Embracer”) has entered into an agreement to acquire the development studios Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, Square Enix Montréal, and a catalogue of IPs including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain and more than 50 back-catalogue games from SQUARE ENIX HOLDINGS CO., LTD. (“Square Enix Holdings”). In total, the acquisition includes ~1,100 employees across three studios and eight global locations. The total purchase price amounts to USD 300 million on a cash and debt free basis, to be paid in full at closing. Embracer has secured additional long-term debt funding commitments for this and other transactions in the pipeline. The company today reiterates its current Operational EBIT forecast for FY 21/22, FY 22/23, and FY 23/24. The transaction is subject to various regulatory and other external approvals and is expected to close during the second quarter of Embracer’s financial year 22/23 (July-September 2022).

Embracer CEO Lars Wingefor said that the company plans to make further moves in the coming months and years during an interview with the Financial Times.

It will be fascinating to see if these changes can turn around the fortunes of some of Square’s western development, with recent titles Marvel’s Avengers and Eidos’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, though being a genuinely brilliant game, also not quite meeting sales goals.

Square Enix has clarified the reasoning behind the sale in a statement to shareholders, citing the company’s wishes to move ‘forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud’, which is….just fucked. At least we won’t have to suffer through Deus Ex NFTs, I guess?

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