Embracer Group to acquire Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal

JC Denton is surprised
(Image credit: Eidos Interactive)

Three of Square Enix's development studios will be acquired by holding company Embracer Group in a $300 million deal, as Embracer has announced in a press release. Phil Rogers, CEO of Square Enix America and Europe, was quoted as saying, "Embracer is the best kept secret in gaming: a massive, decentralized collection of entrepreneurs whom we are thrilled to become a part of today."

The three studios to be acquired are Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal. Crystal Dynamics is currently working on a Tomb Raider game using Unreal Engine 5, while Eidos-Montréal were recently responsible for the surprisingly good Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Square Enix Montréal are known for mobile games, and created Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go, and Deus Ex Go. 

With these studios comes control of a catalogue of games including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain. As the press release notes, "The acquisition also includes the continued sales and operations of the studios' more than 50 back-catalogue games."

Embracer Group was originally Nordic Games, before acquiring various THQ assets when that publisher went bankrupt and rebranding itself as THQ Nordic AB. After acquiring Koch Media and Deep Silver, followed by Coffee Stain and several others, it rebranded again as Embracer Group in 2019. It's been on an acquisition spree since then, snapping up Saber Interactive, Gearbox, Aspyr Media, 3D Realms, Ghost Ship Games, Slipgate Ironworks, Perfect World (and its MMO-developing arm Cryptic Studios), Beamdog, and Dark Horse Media, among others.

Square Enix put out its own press release about the deal, noting that its remaining overseas studios will continue to publish any future games in the Just Cause, Outriders, and Life is Strange series. It also said that this transaction "enables the launch of new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud." 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.