Lara’s coming home
Some legendary gaming franchises are now back under the control of their respective studios, following the completion of Square Enix’ western studio sell-off to holding company Embracer Group — With the completion of the deal, several IPs now defer ownership and/or creative control to their developers of origin.
The two biggest titles to make the transition of legendary adventure series Tomb Raider, which is now back in the hands of Crystal Dynamics, and dystopian cyberpunk series Deus Ex, which has come home to roost with Eidos Montreal (formerly Square Enix Montreal). In addition, Crystal Dynamics regains ownership of Legacy of Kain, while Eidos Montreal retakes the helm of cult stealth series, Thief.
The sale comes at a perfect moment in time for Crystal Dynamics, as the studio is about to embark on the development of a brand new Tomb Raider title, one that will harness the power of modern platforms and the stunning Unreal 5 engine to create a world of exploration and adventure like none Ms. Croft has ever encountered before. With Crystal Dynamics now fully in the driving seat, this bodes incredibly well for the return of both Lara and Tomb Raider — As for Deus Ex, we’ll just have to wait and see.
While it is understandable then many are feeling trepidation at the current craze for mergers and acquisitions that are swamping the games industry, it is possible for some good to come from said sales. And putting iconic franchises back in the hands of the people who know them the best can certainly be considered a major positive from the latest in a long, long, long line of Embracer Group purchases.