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Default Embracer Group - Acquires Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain, and More

May 2nd, 2022, 13:06
Embracer Group has bought Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal; picking up a lot of IPs in the process such as Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain, and 50 back catalogue games from Square Enix.

Embracer will hold a webcast presentation for investors, analysts and media on 2 May 2022 at CET 09.00. Please find details in a separate invitation that will follow this release.

"We are thrilled to welcome these studios into the Embracer Group. We recognize the fantastic IP, world class creative talent, and track record of excellence that have been demonstrated time and again over the past decades. It has been a great pleasure meeting the leadership teams and discussing future plans for how they can realize their ambitions and become a great part of Embracer," says Lars Wingefors, Co-founder and Group CEO, Embracer Group.

"Embracer is the best kept secret in gaming: a massive, decentralized collection of entrepreneurs whom we are thrilled to become a part of today. It is the perfect fit for our ambitions: make high-quality games, with great people, sustainably, and grow our existing franchises to their best versions ever. Embracer allows us to forge new partnerships across all media to maximize our franchises' potential and live our dreams of making extraordinary entertainment," says Phil Rogers, Square Enix America and Europe CEO.

Background and rationale

The collection of studios represents a world-class creative team of ~1,100 employees across three studios and eight global locations, including two of the most reputable AAA studios across the industry in Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montréal. The studios possess a unique ability to deliver blockbuster hits decade after decade. The acquisition brings a compelling pipeline of new installments from beloved franchises and original IPs, including a new Tomb Raider game. The acquisition builds on Embracer's mission of creating a leading independent global gaming and entertainment ecosystem. Embracer has been particularly impressed by the studios' rich portfolio of original IP, housing brands with proven global potential such as Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, as well as demonstrating the ability to create AAA games with large and growing fan bases. There are compelling opportunities to organically grow the studios to maximize their commercial opportunities.

The portfolio of IP consists of iconic franchises appreciated by critics and players alike. For example, two original IPs, Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, have sold AAA units of ~88M and ~12M, respectively. Embracer sees an opportunity to invest in these franchises, as well as the additional acquired IPs such as Legacy of Kain, Thief, and other original franchises. The acquisition also includes the continued sales and operations of the studios' more than 50 back-catalogue games.

Founded in 1992, Crystal Dynamics consists of almost 300 employees across San Mateo, CA; Bellevue, WA; and Austin, TX. The studio is committed to creating narrative-focused AAA action-adventure games and is led by 30+ year veteran Scot Amos. Prior AAA releases from the studio include Rise of the Tomb Raider and Legacy of Kain Defiance. Crystal Dynamics is actively working on several AAA projects, including the next mainline Tomb Raider game that will deliver next-generation storytelling and gameplay experiences.

Founded in 2007, Eidos Montréal consists of almost 500[1] employees across Montréal, Canada; Sherbrooke, Canada; and Shanghai, China. The studio focuses on creating memorable AAA experiences focused on unique stories and strong characters within the action-adventure and RPG genres. The studio is led by David Anfossi, who has 26 years of industry experience. Prior AAA releases include Thief 4, Deus Ex Human Revolution, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The studio is working on a host of AAA projects including both new releases from beloved franchises and original IP.

Founded in 2011, Square Enix Montréal consists of almost 150 employees across Montréal, Canada and London, UK. The studio focuses on building mobile games that players will want to return to for years to come. The studio is led by Patrick Naud, who has 24 years of industry experience. The studio is uniquely talented in creating mobile experiences based on traditionally PC/Console IPs such as Hitman, Tomb Raider, and Deus Ex. The studio will continue to develop and operate memorable mobile games based on AAA IP.

After closing this transaction, the US will be Embracer's #1 country by number of game developers and Canada will be #2. In total, post pending closings, Embracer will have more than 14,000 employees, 10,000 engaged game developers, and 124 internal studios. Embracer's upcoming content pipeline includes more than 230 games with more than 30 AAA games. 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. As Embracer's pipeline matures, this will be a key driver for organic growth in net sales, operational EBIT, and free cash flow.

Currently, Embracer's development resources are fully utilized either by ongoing internal development projects or by projects financed by external publishers. Embracer's teams dedicated to work-for-hire services to external studios and publishers are also fully utilized across all territories. The lack of available resources in the industry and demand for these services exceeds our available capacity. Through this acquisition, Embracer will augment its development capabilities specifically within the AAA segment, which will provide opportunities to accelerate organic growth.

[…]
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May 2nd, 2022, 13:21
Never before heard of Embracer Group, but well, thats the Mother company of THQ Nordic and Koch Media.
So again, the big are becoming even bigger I guess.
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May 2nd, 2022, 13:27
Could increase the possibility of a sequel to Mankind Divided? I really enjoyed that game.
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May 2nd, 2022, 13:40
The Embracer Group popped up recently in a discussion in Couch's thread. They own a lot of companies, and continue their acquisitions.
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May 2nd, 2022, 16:30
I've never heard of them either, though something tells me we'll be hearing that name more often going forward.

Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
Could increase the possibility of a sequel to Mankind Divided? I really enjoyed that game.
Same. I liked how MD was more open than the previous games. I'd love to see something with a similar level design and a larger map.
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May 2nd, 2022, 16:36
I want a sequel to Mankind Divided, to have them wrap it up. And I want anything done properly in the Legacy of Kain universe. A remaster, remake, sequel, anything. Just do it justice.

And I hope they also allow Crystal Dynamics to do something else than just slave away on Tomb Raider games for the rest of their lives.

Also, fuck Square Enix. They sat on this treasure trove of IPs for too long.
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May 2nd, 2022, 17:03
Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus View Post
Also, fuck Square Enix. They sat on this treasure trove of IPs for too long.
It's apparently more profitable to release sub-par remasters of old SquareSoft titles.
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May 2nd, 2022, 17:03
They are a Swedish company, so I've heard a lot about them the last 5-10 years and before that as they were called Nordic Games and then THQ Nordic. In fact, I live in the same town where their main office is

According to some dude/dudette in a Swedish forum, their CEO is uninterested in gaming itself, but is a good entrepreneur who enjoys developing companies and making money.
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May 2nd, 2022, 17:36
Good news since Square-Enix ruined Deus Ex and put the IP on ice after releasing Mankind Divided. You can be sure sure Embracer or THQ Nordic will make another sequel.
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May 2nd, 2022, 17:43
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
They are a Swedish company, so I've heard a lot about them the last 5-10 years and before that as they were called Nordic Games and then THQ Nordic. In fact, I live in the same town where their main office is

According to some dude/dudette in a Swedish forum, their CEO is uninterested in gaming itself, but is a good entrepreneur who enjoys developing companies and making money.
Well he spent eight billion dollars buying various developers and publishers in the last two years, and said in a recent interview he wont stop anytime soon.

Link - https://wccftech.com/embracer-group-…-to-slow-down/
"If you can make one game, you have a big business risk, but if you make 200 games, like we do, the business risk is less'"

Wingefors also plans to continue Embracer’s strategy of not exerting too much control over their many developers. When you’ve got hundreds of studios under your umbrella, it doesn’t matter that much what any individual one does, right?

"From a commercial standpoint, we don’t have central, commercial decision-making. Looking at other companies, they’ve struggled when they put too many layers of directors and management and start controlling creators, that’s when they start falling apart."
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May 2nd, 2022, 17:50
it seems a decent strategy.
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May 2nd, 2022, 18:28
Count me as another bloke that's never heard of this group, we'll see what happens down the road a piece.
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May 2nd, 2022, 18:31
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Count me as another bloke that's never heard of this group, we'll see what happens down the road a piece.
Yeah it's confusing after the multiple name re-brands over the last few years. You might remember them under the old name THQ NORDIC. Which still exists as a subsidiary now.
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May 2nd, 2022, 18:44
Originally Posted by Telstar View Post
it seems a decent strategy.
Yeah. It seems to work well for them.
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May 2nd, 2022, 22:29
According to PC Gamer they just paid $300 mil. Seems indeed little for these studios and IPs.
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May 2nd, 2022, 23:30
Originally Posted by bjon045
Could increase the possibility of a sequel to Mankind Divided?
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Same. I liked how MD was more open than the previous games. I'd love to see something with a similar level design and a larger map.
We can be pretty sure they will develop another Deus Ex.
THQ Nordic group revives a lot of older famous IP, for example Outcast 2. Previously Spellforce 3, Guild 3 (it didnt end very happy though).

Legacy of Kain will be another one.
Tomb Raider will continue, of course.

I wonder if there is some lesser known RPG IP they could revive too.
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May 3rd, 2022, 00:22
Eidos-Montreal is probably my favorite game developer, with Deus Ex Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, the latest Tomb Raider, and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy each being very good games.
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Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
Eidos-Montreal is probably my favorite game developer, with Deus Ex Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, the latest Tomb Raider, and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy each being very good games.
Agreed. The only bit that has me worried is this:

The studio will continue to develop and operate memorable mobile games based on AAA IP.
The bold/underline is me. I guess it doesn't mean things could change though.
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May 3rd, 2022, 04:18
Originally Posted by Farflame View Post
I wonder if there is some lesser known RPG IP they could revive too.
Anachronox I've been waiting over 30+ years for a sequel.
Originally Posted by Darkheart View Post
According to PC Gamer they just paid $300 mil. Seems indeed little for these studios and IPs.
Based on articles it seems Square Enix is in the red with their quarterly profit reports. They want every new release to sell 10+ millions of copies, and that rarely happens.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, and Marvel Avengers did not meet their high sale expectations. So this deal helps boost their finances.

Also as the article above says Embracer Group acts more like an investor and leaves management to the developers, and publishers that run the companies.
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May 3rd, 2022, 10:22
For what it's worth here's a visualization of subsidiaries in gaming from a random dude on reddit. The size of the slices is misleading of course.
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