Lara Croft is no longer enough: Square Enix sells Tomb Raider and other brands.
Embracer Group – the parent company of THQ Nordic, Koch Media, Saber Interactive, Gearbox and dozens of other game companies – wants to acquire Square Enix’s Western division for $300 million. So the studios Eidos Montréal, Square Enix Montréal and Crystal Dynamics and their brands, including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and Legacy of Kain.
Square Enix, meanwhile, dreams of NFTs as the new panacea for game development and monetization. But that’s just a symptom of a bigger crisis: The classic AAA industry has a structural problem.
Which exactly, Micha discusses in the podcast with Human Nagafi, management consultant at 1789 Innovations and podcaster at Corporate Therapy as well as the new voice message cast Critical Infinity.
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Together we look at the origins of the AAA industry – which has a lot to do with Square Enix – and its management mistakes (crunch, scandals etc.) as well as the enormous monetization pressure, especially with large projects.
It’s the curse of success: Precisely because this industry has grown so quickly, large publishers lack the ability to reinvent themselves beyond monetization models. That’s why Ubisoft is in trouble, that’s why Electronic Arts is renaming FIFA, that’s why Activision is being sold. And that’s why Square Enix is selling well-loved brands.