What is Embracer Group and what can change for Square-Enix –


The week started immediately with a notable surprise: theacquisition of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal by Embracer Group, which in this way consolidates its supremacy on the gaming market as the largest group operating in the West and also involves important changes for Square Enix. At the moment, this is the announcement of the operation, although for its definition there will probably be a few more months to wait, however, also to consider any evaluations by the supervisory bodies, given that Embracer is becoming a really large giant. remarkable. But what exactly is Embracer Group? It is a Swedish company founded by Lars Wingefors, which started as a semi-unknown development team of PC games and then grew out of all proportion through financial and strategic maneuvers, aimed at building a giant studio stable.

From 2020 to today, Embracer has completed 62 acquisitions for a total of 8.1 billion spent (not counting the Square Enix teams), with a current market valuation of around 10 billion dollars, but likely to rise. Moreover, these are not just simple development teams: among the acquisitions there are also entire publishers or groups such as THQ Nordic, Koch Media / Deep Silver, Saber Interactive and Gearbox Software and companies located outside the gaming sector such as the Dark publishing house. Horse Media is the board game company Asmodee, which currently represents the largest acquisition completed by Embracer for 2.75 billion euros. In light of all this, however, the acquisition announced today is particularly cheap, with $ 300 million to secure Square Enix’s western teams and all their historic intellectual properties.

“I think I’ve built something truly unique and difficult to replicate,” said CEO and founder Wingefors of his giant, and it’s definitely true: managing a composite and heterogeneous group like this one, made up in total of over 100 individual companies between development teams of various sizes and spread all over the world, with hundreds of games in development (115 have been announced so far), it is a titanic and also unprecedented undertaking, given the particular approach adopted by Embracer. The group, according to the explicit will of Wingefors and the board of directors, refuses to create a structure with centralization of power and well-defined hierarchy, preferring to leave considerable creative freedom to individual teams, which are often already structured within larger groups. wide.

Tomb Raider is certainly the most prominent intellectual property in the new acquisition of Embracer
Tomb Raider is certainly the most prominent intellectual property in the new acquisition of Embracer

Also, the acquisitions they range in size and genres, going from semi-unknown indie teams and perhaps focused on specific types of games to large publishers, making it difficult to understand precisely if there is a precise design or strategy underneath this expansion, let alone a capillary organization of the Embracer galaxy. This can generate quite a few headaches, but for the moment it seems to work, given the growing financial results recorded in recent years, it can also be particularly positive for users, given that in fact such an organization seems to derive from on the one hand economic security for individual teams and on the other the certainty of considerable freedom to develop what they want.

To all this will be added another 1,100 employees to be included in the workforce, spread over eight geographical areas around the world, coming from the acquisition of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal. For Embracer this has become almost normal administration, but this operation leaves a greater impact on Square Enix, surely. The publisher loses in one fell swoop the entire western division, with all its flagship brands: Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief and Legacy of Main, remaining essentially focused on the historical Japanese arm. It is a resizing remarkable, which moreover takes place according to economic terms that seem all too convenient for Embracer, which evidently demonstrates how Square Enix had a considerable need to lighten staff and structure. On the other hand, it is known that Western brands have not been managed optimally in recent years, with productions that, moreover, have always led to results below expectations for the Japanese company.

It will be interesting to see the return of Square Enix from a global publisher to a purely Japanese company, focused on its historical brands and probably on collaborations tending more to the Japanese context, within what is in effect a significant downsizing of dimensions and breath of the company. In all this, however, another question also emerges: this operation could lead to the definitive one acquisition of the core of Square Enix, or will it be easier in this way to remain independent? The idea that this could be a Sony goal has persisted in rumors for years and now that the company has become significantly smaller it could easily become a reality, although it remains to be seen if the PlayStation company may still be strongly interested in the publisher. in “reduced” version.


Oliver Barker

Est né à Bristol et a grandi à Southampton. Il est titulaire d'un baccalauréat en comptabilité et économie et d'une maîtrise en finance et économie de l'Université de Southampton. Il a 34 ans et vit à Midanbury, Southampton.

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