In what appears to be the next big acquisition story to hit the games industry, publisher Square Enix has sold three of its western studios along with their franchises to the Embracer Group for an estimated $300 million.
The bill of sale covers developers Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal and their Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain franchises among several other properties, according to an announcement by the Embracer Group.
The acquisition furthermore includes in-development projects as such the new Tomb Raider game and “the continued sales and operations of the studios’ more than 50 back-catalog games” once the deal gets approved by regulatory bodies and concluded in the coming months.
According to a report by Metro earlier in the week, Square Enix lost $200 million between Marvel’s Avengers and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy which is believed to be at least one contributing factor to the sale.
Marvel’s Avengers reportedly cost over $100 million to produce but managed to sell only about 3 million copies. Square Enix failed to turn a profit from the game which was described by its president Yosuke Matsuda as “a commercial disappointment” for the publisher.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy too failed to meet launch sales expectations despite garnering favorable scores from critics. Square Enix noted a few months back during its earnings call that sales were slow at the start but started witnessing growth in 2022. The game landed on Xbox Game Pass last month after which its narrative director Mary DeMarle stated that Guardians of the Galaxy is finally “finding its audience”.
It should be noted that Marvel’s Avengers is a live service game and is supposed to receive new content as part of its ongoing roadmap. However, it remains unclear if the Embracer Group will commit to the game after the acquisition is done.