Embracer Group AB 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 Holding Co.
In total, the acquisition includes ~1,100 employees across three studios and eight global locations. The total purchase price amounts to $300 million on a cash and debt free basis, to be paid in full at closing.
Going forward, the Square Enix Holding Co.’s development function will comprise its studios in Japan, Square Enix External Studios, and Square Enix Collective. The company’s overseas studios will continue to publish franchises such as Just Cause, Outriders, and Life Is Strange.
Embracer Group has secured additional long-term debt funding commitments for this and other transactions in the pipeline. 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).
“We are thrilled to welcome these studios into the Embracer Group. We recognize the fantastic IP, world class creative talent, and track record of excellence that have been demonstrated time and again over the past decades,” says Lars Wingefors, Co-founder and Group CEO, Embracer Group.
“It has been a great pleasure meeting the leadership teams and discussing future plans for how they can realize their ambitions and become a great part of Embracer.”
“Embracer is the best kept secret in gaming: a massive, decentralized collection of entrepreneurs whom we are thrilled to become a part of today. It is the perfect fit for our ambitions: make high-quality games, with great people, sustainably, and grow our existing franchises to their best versions ever,” added says Phil Rogers, Square Enix America and Europe CEO.
“Embracer allows us to forge new partnerships across all media to maximize our franchises’ potential and live our dreams of making extraordinary entertainment.”
The collection of studios represents a world-class creative team of ~1,100 employees across three studios and eight global locations, including two of the most reputable AAA studios across the industry in Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montréal. The studios possess a unique ability to deliver blockbuster hits decade after decade.
The acquisition brings a compelling pipeline of new installments from beloved franchises and original IPs, including a new Tomb Raider game. The acquisition builds on Embracer’s mission of creating a leading independent global gaming and entertainment ecosystem.
Embracer has been particularly impressed by the studios’ rich portfolio of original IP, housing brands with proven global potential such as Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, as well as demonstrating the ability to create AAA games with large and growing fan base. The portfolio of IP consists of iconic franchises appreciated by critics and players alike.
For example, two original IPs, Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, have sold AAA units of ~88 million and ~12 million, respectively. Embracer sees an opportunity to invest in these franchises, as well as the additional acquired IPs such as Legacy of Kain, Thief, and other original franchises. The acquisition also includes the continued sales and operations of the studios’ more than 50 back-catalogue games.
Founded in 1992, Crystal Dynamics consists of almost 300 employees across San Mateo, CA; Bellevue, WA; and Austin, TX. The studio is committed to creating narrative-focused AAA action-adventure games and is led by 30+ year veteran Scot Amos.
Prior AAA releases from the studio include Rise of the Tomb Raider and Legacy of Kain Defiance. Crystal Dynamics is actively working on several AAA projects, including the next mainline Tomb Raider game that will deliver next-generation storytelling and gameplay experiences.
Founded in 2007, Eidos-Montréal consists of almost 500 employees across Montréal, Canada; Sherbrooke, Canada; and Shanghai, China. The studio focuses on creating memorable AAA experiences focused on unique stories and strong characters within the action-adventure and RPG genres. The studio is led by David Anfossi, who has 26 years of industry experience.
Prior AAA releases include Thief 4, Deus Ex Human Revolution, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The studio is working on a host of AAA projects including both new releases from beloved franchises and original IP.
Founded in 2011, Square Enix Montréal consists of almost 150 employees across Montréal, Canada and London, UK. The studio focuses on building mobile games that players will want to return to for years to come. The studio is led by Patrick Naud, who has 24 years of industry experience.
The studio is uniquely talented in creating mobile experiences based on traditionally PC/Console IPs such as Hitman, Tomb Raider, and Deus Ex. The studio will continue to develop and operate memorable mobile games based on AAA IP.
After closing this transaction, the US will be Embracer’s #1 country by number of game developers and Canada will be #2. In total, post pending closings, Embracer will have more than 14,000 employees, 10,000 engaged game developers, and 124 internal studios.
Embracer’s upcoming content pipeline includes more than 230 games with more than 30 AAA games. This acquisition will bring additional scale to Embracer’s current AAA segment, and Embracer will have one of the largest pipelines of PC/Console games content across the industry, across all genres.