Sweden’s Embracer Group To Buy Three Game Studios From Square Enix For $300M

Tomb Raider

Embracer Group, the Swedish gaming giant, is not stopping its acquisition spree anytime soon, it seems. The company has agreed to buy three game development studios and a catalog of intellectual property from Square Enix, a Japanese video game giant.

The three gaming studios on the acquisition table are Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal, representing all of Square Enix’s western studios. The IP catalog includes highly-recognized gaming franchises like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain.

  • Embracer will pay $300mn in cash for the acquisition. It continues the Swedish company’s acquisition spree this year, which saw it buy six gaming studios from February to April. The pair of studios and intellectual property from Square Enix marks Embracer’s most expensive acquisition in 2022.

Embracer’s debt-fueled acquisition binge extends back to 2017, the year it kickstarted its purchase of dozens of gaming studios to increase its market share.  The company made its two biggest purchases last year; Borderlands developer Gearbox Software ($1.3bn) and board games maker Asmodee ($3.1bn).

The deal with Square Enix seems like a smart one, particularly the valuable IP catalog Embracer is getting. It also looks like a bargain relative to the numbers thrown around in the recent wave of gaming acquisitions. In January, Sony agreed to buy game studio Bungie for $3.6bn. In that same month, Microsoft sealed a deal to buy game publishing giant Activision Blizzard for $69bn.

  • Thanks to acquisitions, Embracer has made itself a gaming powerhouse, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The question is if the company can steer through the complexities of managing numerous gaming studios under one umbrella properly.

 

  • In its latest quarterly report (October-December 2021), Embracer reported SEK 5,085.2 million ($515mn) in net sales, up 135% year-over-year.

The Square Enix deal is expected to close between July and September of this year. Upon completion, Embracer will have 124 internal gaming studios and 14,000 employees.

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