Embracer is buying the studios behind Tomb Raider, Deux Ex and Thief

Swedish game company Embracer Group has just made a blockbuster deal to acquire Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal and Square Enix Montréal for what seems like a bargain $300 million price, the company confirmed in a press release. The deal includes a “catalogue of IPs including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain and more than 50 back-catalogue games from Square Enix Holdings,” he wrote. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Those studios represent around 1,100 employees across eight global locations, the company noted. When the deal is finalized, Embracer will have 14,000 employees, 10,000 game developers and 124 internal studios. It has more than 230 games in development, with 30 of those being AAA titles. “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,” it said.

As part of the deal, Eidos Montreal plans to revive Deus Ex and use new Unreal Engine 5 technology, the studio said during the acquisition conference call, as Shack News reported. “At this time, we are crazy people who have decided to revive the Deus Ex IP as our first game,” Eidos Montreal Studio Head David Anfossi said. “A new team, a very complex production, a new tech, and a new studio, an easy challenge.” Anfossi noted that Deus Ex console sales have exceeded 12 million units.

Last month, Crystal Dynamics announced that it was developing a new Tomb Raider game, also based on Unreal Engine 5, with plans to “push the envelope of fidelity.” The studio also developed Marvel’s Avengers, among other titles. Eidos Montreal created Thief 4, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and more, and is “working on a host of AAA projects including both new releases from beloved franchises and original IP,” according to the Embracer press release.

As we detailed in a feature last year, Embracer is perhaps “the biggest games publisher you’ve never heard of,” founded by Swedish entrepreneur Lars Wingefors. It made a string of acquisitions over the last couple of years, most significantly purchasing Saber Interactive for $525 million and Gearbox Software for $1.3 billion.

It now owns quite a list of iconic franchises, particularly in the classic category. On top of the newly acquired IP, it controls Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Metro, TimeSplitters, Borderlands, Darksiders, MX vs ATV, Kingdoms of Amalur, Satisfactory, Wreckfest, Insurgency and World War Z. For some of those like TimeSplitters, the company has promised new titles from the original developers.

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