Embracer acquires Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and their studios from Square Enix

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Definitive Key Art
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Definitive Key Art (Image credit: Square Enix)

Update May 2, 2022: The Initiative confirmed that Crystal Dynamics will continue their work on Perfect Dark after the acquisition.

Original article:

Recently, Microsoft entered into an agreement with Square Enix to have Crystal Dynamics work with The Initiative to build the upcoming sci-fi FPS Perfect Dark for Xbox, leading to expectations that someday, Microsoft may end up acquiring Crystal Dynamics outright. It seems that another company has beat them to the punch.

Embracer Group has been on an acquisition spree in recent years, buying up masses of core studios from across the spectrum, and today, the company has acquired a whole load more from Square Enix.

Embracer has officially snapped up Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal, and a range of familiar western IP including Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, Thief, Legacy of Kain, and "50" back catalogue titles from the Japanese publisher. Embracer's headcount will swell by more than 1100 employees as a result of the deal, which amounts to $300 million USD in cash to be paid once the deal fully closes. Embracer expects the deal to be finalized by September 2022.

"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 bases. There are compelling opportunities to organically grow the studios to maximize their commercial opportunities."

The news comes as no surprise, as the industry seeks further consolidation in an inflationary market, with major tech companies vying for the future of gaming and virtual worlds in general. Square Enix has long neglected its western teams, arguably, repeatedly casting doubt over franchises like Tomb Raider, and canceling others like Deus Ex and Thief outright.


Source: Square EnixDeus Ex, Thief, and Tomb Raider are three legendary franchises that Square Enix has failed to properly serve. (Image credit: Source: Square Enix)

The fact Embracer name-checked these franchises along with Legacy of Kain is unmistakably a positive sign for fans of those games, but it remains to be seen what, if anything, comes of the deal for consumers. At the very least, it imparts some hope to getting new games under those classic franchises, but it'll come at a loss for Microsoft and Xbox, who most likely sought to acquire at least Crystal Dynamics themselves to help bolster The Initiative.

Microsoft is working to acquire a much bigger fish in the form of Activision-Blizzard right now, which will give them a mass of PC and mobile titles for its push beyond Xbox consoles.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!