Earlier this month, Embracer Group announced their intent to buy Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal from Square Enix in a $300 million (around £240m) deal. The acquisition includes the original IP associated with those studios, including Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy Of Kain and Tomb Raider.
In their quarterly earnings report, Embracer now say they see “great potential” in leveraging the heck out of that IP with sequels, remakes and more.
“The announcement got an overwhelming and positive response,” says the financial report. “We see a great potential, not only in sequels, but also in remakes, remasters, spinoffs as well as transmedia projects across the Group. We expect the transaction to close in the July-September period.”
It is worth noting that this does not mean any of those things will come to pass. Companies who buy other companies are not in the habit of telling their shareholders they did it because they thought the IP would look good untouched on their shelf. They’re not me, buying yet more books I clearly don’t have time to read.
If Embracer Group do want to go hogwild with a transmedia Deus Ex or Legacy of Kain project, they have enough studios to do it. As well as acquiring Eidos Montreal – the studio responsible for modern Deus Ex games Human Revolution and Mankind Divided – they also own over a hundred other studios they could hand the new IPs out to. Maybe 4A Games, makers of the Metro series, really want to do a Thief game. Heck, Embracer also own Dark Horse Comics, so maybe Mike Mignola has longed to do a Hellboy/Lara Croft crossover comic.
As acquisitions go, Embracer picking up these properties seems less worrisome than most, if only because Square Enix no longer seemed to know what to do with them. Embracer owning so many studios remains a bad thing in my eyes, however.