business news Square Enix: NFTs shelved after the sale of Crystal Dynamics and Eidos?
At the beginning of May, Square Enix took everyone by surprise by announcing the sale of Eidos Montreal, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal to Embracer, a sprawling group in which we already find Gearbox, Coffee Stain, Koch Media, THQ Nordic or even Saber Interactive.
A 300 million sale that questions
Beyond the suddenness of the announcement, it was the price that made an impression. Against the sum of 300 million dollars “only”, Embracer seized about fifty licenses among which Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Legacy of Kain, and Thiefbut Square Enix will continue to publish the games Just Cause, Outriders and Life is Strange. The amount seems quite low in view of the licenses sold, but the latter having been accepted by both parties, all is well.
At the time of the announcement of this sale, Square Enix stated that these 300 million dollars would be reinvested in new businesses such as blockchain, AI and the cloud. In other words, Square Enix was planning to develop things around cryptocurrencies and NFTs, for which the company and Yosuke Matsuda have clearly expressed interest. A speech that is went badly with some of the playerswho often take a dim view of “play to win” mechanics and speculation around non-fungible tokens.
Square Enix changes its tune, a victory for the players?
And if we speak in the imperfect, it’s because Square Enix seems to have decided to change course about how the money from the sale of the Western studios was going to be reinvested. According to VGC, who translated the latest statements from the CEO of the Japanese company, the idea ultimately would be to prioritize development capabilities :
Rather than using the proceeds from the sale in new areas of investment such as NFT and blockchain, we intend to primarily use them to fund our efforts to improve our licensing and development capabilities in our segment. main one which is digital entertainment.
Square Enix had previously hinted that the money would not be directly repurposed for new technologies, but it is now officially announced. A way to reassure players, in a period or the publisher really start communicating around Final Fantasy XVI, and where the sale of Western studios worry the public. Matsuda also took the opportunity to clarify the motivations related to the sale, indicating:
(Our) main objective was a reorientation of our portfolio. In particular, we have reviewed our portfolios of studios and titles with a view to intensifying our offer of online titles that we are developing for the North American and European market. We want to focus on creating new titles that align with our strategy, including those that take advantage of new intellectual property. The Just Cause franchise will remain our intellectual property and we are currently working on developing a new title for the franchise.