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Tomb Raider publisher Square Enix to sell iconic video game franchise


Tomb Raider has been one of the most recognizable videogame franchises.

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Japanese publisher is selling the iconic Tomb Raider videogame franchise Square EnixPart of a 300 million dollar ddeal.

Square Enix said Monday it will offload three of its game development studios — Eidos Interactive, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal — to Swedish firm Embracer Group.

Embracer will also purchase the intellectual property of Tomb Raider as well three other games series: Deux Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain.

Square Enix stated that the company is disposing of its assets due to a difficult global economic environment. It also plans on investing in blockchain technology and cutting costs.

Square Enix announced that the deal would “enable the launch of new business by moving forward in investments in fields such as blockchain, AI and the cloud”.

The company’s commitment to ramp up spending in blockchain — the technology behind many cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens — led to some backlash on social media. A user described the decision as “like selling your home for magic beans.”

The majority of gamer fans are typically skeptical about NFTs — digital assets designed to represent ownership of one-of-a-kind collectible items.

While proponents of the technology say it could unlock new kinds of gaming experiences, many gamers aren’t convinced, viewing NFTs as an environmentally harmful cash grab.

Tomb Raider has been a well-known series of video games. Lara Croft is a British archaeologist who guides the players through ancient tombs, dangerous ruins, and other challenges. The game has been downloaded more than 80,000,000 times.

Tomb Raider’s heroine quickly became a cultural symbol, inspiring many movies and merchandise. She also caused a controversy over oversexualization in the game industry.

Square Enix, best known for Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games, purchased Eidos Interactive in 2009 to acquire ownership of Tomb Raider.

Now, it will become Sweden’s Embracer property. The company expects that the deal will be approved before September ends.

Although Embracer has become a well-known gaming brand, it isn’t a household name. Originally set up as a comic book and games retailer, the company has become one of Europe’s largest gaming groups after snapping up a slew of major studios including Gearbox, developer of the Borderlands shooter franchise, and Koch Media.

Analysts in gaming said that Square Enix was looking for a buyer for its Western assets, despite the fact that it had been searching since long.

Piers Harding Rolls from Ampere Analysis was head of the games research department and told CNBC that Square Enix wanted to “offload” this section of its business.

“It’s struggled to achieve consistent commercial success through those studios. It wants to build an organisation with more compelling growth stories for its shareholders.”

Square Enix stated that it would continue publishing titles by other franchises around the world, such as Outriders, Just Cause and Life is Strange.