With the sale of Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montréal, which together with the Tomb Raider and Deux Ex sagas will become part of the Embracer Group holding in exchange for 300 million dollars, Square Enix has practically liquidated its presence in the West, but that does not mean that it will stop publishing games developed by studios located outside of Japan, the company has announced. In addition, the Japanese publisher has detailed that the operation will allow it to invest in other fields such as the blockchain, the cloud and artificial intelligence (AI).
In its statement Square Enix informs that once the transaction of studios and intellectual properties to Embracer Group is completed, something that will happen between July and September 2022, the future of the company will go through the projects of its Japanese teams, Square Enix External Studios and Square Enix Collective. This means that the company will continue to release games from Western franchises, including Just Cause, Outriders, and Life is Strange. It is unknown what will happen to sagas like Sleeping Dogs and Kane & Lynch.
Just Cause is a franchise developed by Avalanche Studios, a studio owned by Nordisk Film currently working on Contraband, a cooperative game to be released by Xbox Game Studios. For its part, Outraiders, a People Can Fly creation that will receive the Worldslayer expansion on June 30, managed to attract 3.5 million players during its first month, while Life is Strange is a saga conceived by Dontnod Entertainment, but whose latest installments including Life Is Strange: True Colors has developed Deck Nine.
Regarding the destination of the 300 million dollars that Square Enix will receive for Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, Square Enix Montréal, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief and Legacy of Kain, the company affirms that this money will be used to launch new businesses by investing in blockchain , the cloud and artificial intelligence. Square Enix’s interest in these technologies is not new. At the beginning of the year, President Yosuke Matsuda envisioned a future where blockchain and NFTs will be a major trend in the video game industry.
“Some people ‘play for fun’ and they currently form the majority of gamers who have expressed reservations about these new trends, it’s understandable,” Matsuda said. “However, I think there will end up being a certain number of people whose motivation will be ‘play to contribute.’” This second group is that of blockchain-based play-to-earn games, where the player receives rewards such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs.