‘Tomb Raider’ IP Being Sold by Video Game Publisher to Fund Investment in Blockchain Technology

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd, which is a highly successful ‘Japanese entertainment conglomerate and video game company’ (perhaps best known for its “Final Fantasy” role playing video game franchise), is reportedly interested in blockchain technology.

According to a report by CNBC, Square Enix is selling the iconic “Tomb Raider” franchise to Sweden’s Embracer Group in a $300 million deal, which the Japanese video game publisher says will help cut down on costs and provide capital for new investments.

Tomb Raider (aka “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” between 2001 and 2008) is “a media franchise that originated with an action-adventure video game series created by British gaming company Core Design.” The franchise “focuses on fictional British archaeologist Lara Croft, who travels around the world searching for lost artifacts and infiltrating dangerous tombs and ruins.” Its gameplay “generally focuses on exploration of environments, solving puzzles, navigating hostile environments filled with traps, and fighting enemies.” Tomb Raider games have “sold over 88 million copies worldwide by 2022.”

Embracer Group is “a parent company of businesses led by entrepreneurs in PC, console, mobile and board games and other related media.” It has “an extensive catalog of over 850 owned or controlled franchises, such as Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Darksiders, Metro, MX vs ATV, Kingdoms of Amalur, TimeSplitters, Satisfactory, Wreckfest, Insurgency, World War Z, and Borderlands amongst many others.”

On May2, Embracer Group issued a press release to announce that had entered into an agreement with Square Enix to “acquire the development studios Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, Square Enix Montréal, and a catalogue of IPs including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain and more than 50 back-catalogue games.”

According to CNBC’s report, Square Enix cited the need to reduce costs amidst a challenging global business environment, and noted an intention to invest in new technologies, such as blockchain. 

Some fans were critical of Square’s decision to pursue blockchain, echoing a general skepticism from gamers towards the monetization of crypto and NFTs. 

Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at Ampere Analytics, told CNBC that Square Enix had been looking to offload part of its business in order to restructure and focus on investments. 

He continued, 

[Square Enix] has struggled to get consistent commercial success out of those studios, and it wants to build a leaner organization with a more compelling growth and profit story for its shareholders. 

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