Square Enix has indicated that it plans to establish and/or acquire new game studios, and in the same month it confirmed that it has agreed to sell from its largest western developers.
Swedish company Embracer announced last week that it has agreed to acquire much of Square Enix’s western development arm for $300 million, including Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, Square Enix Montreal and a catalog of IPs including Tomb Raider. and Deus Ex.
In an official statement at the time, Square Enix said the deal would focus on investments in blockchain, AI and the cloud.
In the financial results released Friday, the publisher of Final Fantasy was able to further explain its reasoning behind the sale.
It said the sale would enable continued growth through “selection and concentration of assets,” a closer alignment of foreign publishing activities at its Tokyo headquarters, and a focus on new businesses such as blockchain, AI and the cloud.
The company said it planned to reshape its Digital Entertainment portfolio, in part by creating new IP, accelerating decision-making through integrated group management and “boost[ing] opportunities for game development through setting up new studios, mergers and acquisitions, etc.”
While it may seem surprising that Square Enix is looking to set up studios so soon after selling established developers, it’s likely that the company plans to move in a different direction more closely aligned with its latest business goals.
In a statement released last week alongside Embracer’s announcement, Square Enix said that “going forward, the company’s development role will include its studios in Japan, Square Enix External Studios and Square Enix Collective.”
It added: “The company’s overseas studios will continue to publish franchises such as Just Cause, Outriders and Life is Strange”.
Square Enix’s president stated last month that the company’s Japanese studios should not try to make games specifically aimed at Western players.
In an interview with Yahoo Japan, Yosuke Matsuda explains that while it is vital that Square Enix’s games sell well worldwide, it would be a mistake for the Japanese developers to try to imitate the western style of games.