Square Enix keeps Just Cause, Life is Strange, and Outriders

by Pierre Bell

Despite offloading some of its most notable IP to Embracer Group, Square Enix will retain some of its Western titles

Yesterday, we heard the landmark news that Square Enix has agreed to the sale of Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Lara Craft Go – along with the studios that make the games – to the Embracer Group.

The company – which has been on something of a purchasing spree lately – has agreed to acquire three of Square Enix's Western studios (Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal), alongside a suite of IP that once belonged to Square Enix.

But Square isn't so keen to offload all of its Western IP just yet. A press release from the Japanese publisher has confirmed the company will retain the rights to the Just Cause, Life is Strange, and Outriders. Furthermore, the indie-focused Square Enix Collective will remain under the parent company and will continue to operate.

"Going forward, the company’s development function will comprise its studios in Japan, Square Enix External Studios, and Square Enix Collective," said the publisher. "The company’s overseas studios will continue to publish franchises such as Just Cause, Outriders, and Life is Strange."

Here's hoping we'll still get some quality games from those series, and that Square Enix's focus on "investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud" won't leave gamers hungry for traditional projects out in the cold.

It's no secret that Square Enix has been publically disappointed in its Western studios and the performance of its non-Japanese IP. Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Marvel's Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy were all classed as sales disappointments for the studio (despite the latter being one of the funniest games written in recent years).

The two companies announced the $300 million cash transaction early on Monday morning, confirming that the deal includes an absolutely massive 50-plus IPs.

Does this mean we're liable to see more Gex, or Legacy of Kain, in the future? I, personally, really hope so.

This is the latest megaton gaming deal in a year already packed full of them; we've, so far, heard about Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as well as Sony's takeover of Bungie. What's next? Will Nintendo buy Sega? Nothing's off the table at this point.