Square Enix excuse for selling Tomb Raider devs isn’t very convincing

By Lee Brady,

Square Enix has excused its selling of western studios like Tomb Raider devs Crystal Dynamics to Embracer Group by stating concerns that the western titles cannibalised the sales of SE's other games.

This justification from Square Enix comes from the company's latest conference call and is seeing some significant rejection online for, well, just not being very convincing, frankly. With rumours of Sony's pursuing an acquisition of Square Enix continuing to swell, Square Enix's Embracer Group sale of big IPs like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

tomb raiderLara's definitely baffled by the whole thing.

Sony and Square Enix acquisition rumours still on the table

Square Enix's conference call was broken down in a Twitter thread by analyst David Gibson, in which the company details a rough sketch of its plan after the Embracer sale, aka 'Phase 1,' finalises. 'Phase 2' would then see SE restructure itself, reviewing its games portfolio and assessing firmly its future with the new influx of cash gained from having sold Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal.

It's a fair plan, though one that somewhat undermines itself when you take into consideration the Embracer deal's "garage sale" nature, as Eidos Montréal founder Stephane D'Astous put it. If the plan was to free up as much cash as possible for a major restructure, why then the lowball $300 million sale for some of video gaming's biggest IPs and most venerable AAA studios?

And if the sale was genuinely motivated by supposedly 'cannibalised' sales — how exactly? As Gibson points out in another tweet, "FF titles have what 5-7yrs between and no window to release anything else? Come on." The excuse just doesn't really add up, and SE's admission that it may be willing to sell stakes in its remaining studios to "improve capital efficiency" throws more than a little fuel on the Sony and Square Enix acquisition fire.

With Square Enix's Tactic Ogre Reborn reveal spoiled by leaks well ahead of time, as well as the new Tomb Raider leaks getting an illuminating DMCA from the company, it's been a strange time for those following SE. Hopefully, regardless of the rumours and excuses, this 'second phase' helps the company get back on firmer footing. Let us know in the comments what you think of all of the above!
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium, recent Sony news), and his secret third eye on the junk he really likes (Sonic Superstars, Final Fantasy 16). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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