May 19, 2022

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The Swedish team buys the creators of the “Tomb Rider” and “Dias X” studios from Empress Square Enix.

Three hundred million dollars or 285 million euros: this is the price The Swedish group Empress announced on Monday, May 2ndJapanese video game publisher Square Enix is ​​preparing to buy North American divisions.

The acquisition will take effect in the third quarter of 2022, and will complete the era of video games and games made by Empress. In fact, in addition to a hundred video game studios, including Gearbox (Boundaries), 4A Games (Metro Exodus), Spontaneous action (Array of Saints), Free intensive design (Time dividers), DigixArt (Road 96), Dumbster Studios (Dead Island2), Saber Interactive (World War Z.), Shooting Games (Darksiders), 3D areas (Bomb), Flying wild boar (Shadow fighter) Or piranha bytes (ELEX), Empress holds in Azmody, France, the leading publisher of board games, which was bought for 3 3 billion by 2021.

Read more Board Games: Azmody continues his insane ascent

With the acquisition of Square Enix’s North American subsidiaries, the Swedish team not only paid for the video game studios with more than a thousand employees: it gets a list of more than fifty games above all. Many intellectual property, some of which are highly valued in industry – Deuce X, Thief, Cain Legacy And in particular, Grave Rider.

Square Enix described in a press release on MondayThe Japanese company owns the trademarks Just cause, Walkers And Life is strange. He also explains that he must allow himself this $ 300 million transaction “Invest in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and the Cloud”.

However, in recent months, sales of Zynga (bought by Take-Two Interactive for $ 12.7 billion) and Zenimax Media and Activision Blizzard (bought by Microsoft for $ 8.1 billion and $ 68.7 billion, respectively) have taken audiences by surprise. ) Reaches record levels. Empresser also paid $ 525 million (4 499 million) to acquire Saber Interactive, a studio with a less intelligent CV, by 2020, which then specializes in sending existing games to new media.

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Two historical studios

In comparison, the small amount of this last transaction is surprising because Square Enix Montreal, founded in 2011, is responsible for creating a studio and mobile games (especially series). “Go”: Hitman Co., Laura Croft Co And Deuce X Co.), Empress mainly lays hands on two historical studios: California Crystal Dynamics and Canadian Ethos Montreal.

Founded in 1992, Crystal Dynamics was initially very popular Gex, The platform game for the 3DO console is more graphically appealing than strikingly playful. After joining the Eidos Interactive team in 1998, the studio began working on the series and revealed its full potential. Cain LegacyIn which he will sign most of the episodes until 2004.

Crystal Dynamics' first big game,

In the wake of these victories, he renewed his license in 2006 Grave Rider, Confiscated from its creators, British Studio Core Design, also owned by Eidos. Crystal Dynamics was well received by critics after the trilogy of new episodes, which improved the damaged icon after flashing.

In 2009, Eidos Interactive was taken over by Square Enix, which sought to diversify its list, which has so far focused more on the Japanese market. The second trilogy Grave Rider Launched later, in which Crystal Dynamics will create the first two chapters: Although sales gradually evaporate, critical success is still high. After the boxing of the opening episode, each sequel reaches 20% to 25% lower sales than the previous Opus.

read more: “Shadow of the Tomb Rider”: The resurrected series begins to cross the desert

A severe blow to the California studio, followed by the failure of the adaptation of the universe Revenge, From Marvel: It was highly criticized when it was released in 2020, which was a failure Square Enix costs millions of dollars. Currently, except for the restart of the shooting game series Perfect darkness Developed on behalf of Microsoft, Crystal Dynamics works New episode of the series Grave RiderReleased April 5, 2022.

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For its part, Canadian studio Eidos Montreal was founded in 2007, fifteen months before it acquired its British parent company, Square Enix. On behalf of the Japanese team, he will also serve until 2016, although he will deliver new episodes to the age-old series that is loved by gamers: roll-flaming and action games. Deuce X.

read more: We Tested… “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided”, Forgotten Video Game

However, with less success than Crystal Dynamics, two episodes later, the latest Opus development to date was handed over to replace Eidos Montreal. Grave Rider (Shadow of the Tomb Rider, 2018). He assisted in the game of Crystal Dynamics RevengeBefore Marvel created its own adaptation of the universe, a Defenders of the Galaxy Critically acclaimed in 2021.