KEY POINTS

  • Square Enix sold several western game studios for $300 million, according to reports
  • The funds will go straight to Squre Enix's investment in blockchain and other technologies
  • All game IPs tied to the game studios were included in the sale

The entirety of Square Enix’s western division, including its game studios and intellectual property (IP) rights to a number of games, has been sold in a surprise $300 million deal, according to reports.

The Japanese game company, popularly known for the “Final Fantasy” series, struck a deal with the Sweden-based Embracer Group over the ownership for Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, including the rights for games such as “Tomb Raider,” “Deus Ex” and the recent hit, “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” The Guardian reported.

Square Enix’s decision to sell its studios was motivated by the company’s desire to enter the NFT and blockchain space. Earlier this year, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda said in a public statement that they wanted to pour resources into the emerging crypto trend.

In line with his statement, Square Enix confirmed that it will be using the funds raised from selling its studios and IPs to pursue more business opportunities, a press release said.

Deus Ex Square Enix maintains that it has not canceled “Deus Ex” despite the underwhelming sales of “Mankind Divided.” Photo: Deusex.com

According to this statement, Square Enix wants to allocate more resources to blockchain, AI and cloud technology. The company’s game development function will be centralized in Japan only through Square Enix External Studios and Square Enix Collective.

However, games such as “Outriders,” “Just Cause” and “Life is Strange” will continue to be published by the company’s overseas studios.

The Embracer Group is known as the primary owner of companies such as Koch Media, Saber Interactive, THQ Nordic, Coffee Stain Holdings and “Borderlands” developer Gearbox Interactive.

NFTs and blockchain-related tech are almost universally despised by gamers, and members of the greater gaming community are actually relieved that beloved franchises like “Tomb Raider” and “Deus Ex” are finally free from Square Enix.

This merger could spell a new era for IPs, as the Embracer Group has a nice track record of good game releases that balance profit-making with the actual art of game development. On the other hand, Square Enix will be able to focus on providing value for the markets that it understands most.

Whether or not the merger will see the resurrection of franchises like “Legacy of Kain” and “Thief” remains a mystery.