Square Enix has shed more light on its decision to sell its Western IP and game development studios to Embracer Group, as the Japanese company says the deal will help it further invest in blockchain and other technologies.
The deal, which is valued at $300 million, will see Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix Montreal also join Embracer Group’s portfolio of studios. IPs up for sale include Tomb Raider, Deux Ex, and Legacy of Kain, among others.
“The transaction will help the company adapt to the changes taking place in the global business environment by establishing a more efficient allocation of resources, which will enhance corporate value by accelerating the growth of the company’s core businesses in the domain. of digital entertainment,” Square Enix said. in an official statement via Business Wire.
In addition to investing in blockchain, Square Enix also plans to explore the fields of AI and cloud, a move it says is aimed at optimizing its business structure as part of a mid-term business strategy unveiled last year. last.
Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda expressed interest last month in the company creating more blockchain games with play-to-win elements, explaining that the traditional video game business model would not be enough to secure the game. future of the company. In a letter, Matsuda wrote of his belief that blockchain gaming “has the potential to enable the self-sustaining growth of gaming” by further pushing the concept of playing to win.
“I realize that some ‘play for fun’ people who currently make up the majority of gamers have expressed reservations about these new trends, and understandably so,” Matsuda explained. “However, I think there will be a certain number of people whose motivation is to ‘play to contribute,’ by which I mean help make the game more exciting.”
It’s worth noting that Square Enix has seen massive growth in its Japanese studios creating MMOs and mobile games, areas where blockchain, cloud, and AI technology have proven especially useful. While its Western studios generated profits for the companies, Square Enix generally viewed these returns as disappointing compared to the costs of running those groups and funding games.