Western production of Square Enix games isn’t closing up shop entirely despite the publisher selling the vast majority of its studios outside of Japan to the Embracer Group this morning. It has been confirmed the Japanese firm will retain the rights to the Just Cause, Life Is Strange, and Outriders IPs, and the indie-focused Square Enix Collective initiative shall continue to operate.
The three franchises in question have all received entries recently, with Just Cause 4 being the furthest out after a late 2018 launch. It’s not known whether a fifth entry is in development, but Deck Nine Games only just wrapped up Life Is Strange: True Colors last year and Outriders will be expanded upon with the Worldslayer DLC in June. Meanwhile, the Square Enix Collective has helped publish the likes of Forgotton Anne, Circuit Superstars, and Black the Fall.
While Square Enix still has the final say on the use of these IPs, it has now handed over ownership of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex franchises as well as many others to the Embracer Group in a $300 million acquisition. Marvel’s Avengers developer Crystal Dynamics, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy team Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal are also included in the buyout. The sale is said to help “investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud”.