Square Enix have casually announced that Just Cause 5 is in development. They recently published the ‘Outline of Financial Results Briefing by SQUARE ENIX HOLDINGS held on May 13, 2022’ which contained the following text.
We especially revisited our studio and title portfolios from the perspective of stepping up our offering of online titles that we develop for the North American and the European market. We want to focus on creating new titles that align with our strategy, including ones that leverage new IP. The JUST CAUSE franchise will remain our IP, and we are at work developing a new title in the franchise.
Just Cause is one of the few Western developed IPs that Square Enix retained after the sold off a huge portion of their company to Embracer. Embracer Group is acquiring pretty much all of the western studios and their related IPs for a meagre sum of $300 million. The roughly 1,100 employees of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal will be joining the ever-growing Embracer Group, bringing with them major IPs that include Tomb Raider, Deux Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain and more than 50 back-catalogue games.
At that time of the sale they did say they were going balls out on NFTs and blockchain and that the sale of Tomb Raider and the like would fund the expansion. A note beside the slide about NFT’s now states:
Our intention is to undertake fund raising efforts for our new investment domains separate from those for our core business, and we are considering various possibilities, including potentially establishing a CVC.
The sale of Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kane and others will now be used in “efforts to foster solid IP and to enhance our development capabilities in our core Digital Entertainment segment” rather than fund NFTs.
It’s another huge acquisition within the games industry, with Embracer having grown at a ludicrous rate over the past decade. Growing out of Nordic Games, they snapped up a whole lot of THQ (including the name) as that publisher went bust in 2013, but their growth has accelerated rapidly in the last five years. They’ve bought up Koch Media, Tarsier Studios, Coffee Stain, Gearbox, Saber Interactive, Milestone and more in that time, creating a vast empire of publishers and developers across the world and splashing over $8 billion in cash.
Square Enix, meanwhile, loses pretty much all of its western development structure and the IP that it picked up when they acquired Eidos in 2009. They will still have their main Japanese development studios, as well as Square Enix External Studios and the indie publishing arm Square Enix Collective. They will also continue to publish franchises such as Just Cause 5, Outriders and Life is Strange.
Source: Square Enix