Swedish game developer vacuum cleaner Embracer Group (formerly THQ Nordic AB, not to be confused with subsidiary THQ Nordic GmbH) recently sucked in Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, bestowing ownership of the Tomb Raider conglomerate Deus Ex and Thief. We’ve seen major properties change hands with mergers and remain stagnant, but it looks like the Embracer Group plans to actually use the stuff they just bought.
“After the end of the quarter, we further strengthened our IP portfolio and development capabilities by entering into an agreement to acquire Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief and Legacy of Kain and other IPs. “, says the Embracer Group 2021-22 fiscal year report. “The announcement has had an overwhelming and positive response. We see great potential, not only in sequels, but also in remakes, remasters, spinoffs and transmedia projects across the Group. We expect the transaction to close in the July to September period.”
Tomb Raider has received a lot of love in recent years with Crystal Dynamic’s series reboot, but even those games have been put on the back burner in favor of the ill-fated Avengers live service game.
Meanwhile, Eidos Montreal’s popular Deus Ex prequel series has been dormant since 2016’s Mankind Divided failed to meet Square Enix’s sales expectations. Looking Glass Studios’ legendary Thief series was rebooted in 2014 by Eidos Montreal with the confusing and disappointing name Thief, or Thi4f, depending on who you ask, and hasn’t been revisited since, with the series mostly living on through spiritual successors. and fan works.
I see this as a positive development for these games. While the Embracer Group’s purchase of Square Enix’s North American studios was widely interpreted as a green light for the continuity of these franchises, there was always the possibility that the developers would be placed in other Embracer Group properties, similar to how they already were sent to face the Marvel License by Square Enix.
The Deus Ex and Tomb Raider reboots, while very different from the originals, had their fans and word of mouth around Eidos Montreal. Guardians of the Galaxy makes me optimistic about the studio having more opportunities to shine. We can also see some of the other Embracer developers making use of Tomb Raider and Deus Ex. It has many of them: Gearbox, Ghost Ship Games, 4A Games, Cryptic Studios and Flying Wild Hog are just a few of Embracer’s acquisitions. If this new bunch of reboots, remasters, and sequels end up looking more like Thi5f, Thi6f, and Thi7f, we’ll always have those originals to come back to, I suppose.