Square Enix’s Embracer Sale Is Certainly Surprising… But It Could Be a Good Thing

These days, video game company acquisitions have become a routine part of the newscycle, and we tend to talk about them in billions. Look at a mega-deal like Xbox’s $68.7 billion Activision-Blizzard acquisition, PlayStation’s $3.6 billion acquisition, or the handful of other billions-of-dollars deals that seem to be the norm in 2022.

So the latest acquisition headline is surprising, at least at first glance, because the number involved is so much lower than we’ve come to expect – Embracer Group acquiring three Square Enix studios and their major franchises like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and more for only $300 million. For longrunning, critically acclaimed studios and their decades-long running series… that number, especially compared to other acquisitions, seems like a steal, right? Well, it certainly seems like it from a player perspective, but Square Enix has previously labeled many of these studios’ releases, despite critical success, as commercially disappointing in past earnings reports, and it has stated a goal to invest in more technologies like blockchain, AI, and the cloud. With this in mind, studios developing traditionally single-player, narrative adventures may not neatly fit into that company vision. And that means the sale might actually be a good thing for these studios in the long run.

A Shocking Sale?

That $300 million number might seem to us armchair analysts like highway robbery for heavyweights like Lara Croft, the Guardians of the Galaxy (though any future Marvel games still require approval from the rightsholder), and Deus Ex’s Adam Jensen, but that number most likely comes from a number of very reasonable factors, according to Ampere Analysis’ Piers Harding-Rolls.

“The price is what it is and is based on Embracer’s evaluation of the business and Square Enix’s willingness to sell,” Harding-Rolls told IGN. “There are certain things we don’t know which will influence the exact price – running costs and the pipeline of games for example – so it’s hard to evaluate the price really accurately based on the information we have.”

Every Square Enix Game in Development

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