Crystal Dynamics now own Tomb Raider, Legacy of Kain, and more

Shadow of The Tomb Raider Header

The devil is in the detail they always say and that seems to be the case with the recent sale of over 50 IPs and three studios by Square Enix to the Embracer Group.  Here’s part of the statement Embracer put out at the time.

Embracer Group AB (”Embracer”) has entered into an agreement to acquire the development studios Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, Square Enix Montréal, and a catalogue of IPs including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain and more than 50 back-catalogue games from SQUARE ENIX HOLDINGS CO., LTD. (“Square Enix Holdings”). In total, the acquisition includes ~1,100 employees across three studios and eight global locations. The total purchase price amounts to USD 300 million on a cash and debt free basis, to be paid in full at closing.

Today, Crystal Dynamics, one of the studios sold to Embracer, released their own statement.

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We are excited to inform you that Crystal Dynamics has taken control of several game franchises—including TOMB RAIDER and Legacy of Kain—from the games’ previous owner, Square Enix Limited. As a result of this change, Crystal Dynamics (or its affiliate) is now the owner of these games and the controller of the gameplay and personal data related to them.

It appears that rather than Embracer buying Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics bought Tomb Raider and then Embracer bought Crystal Dynamics. They also refer to Embracer as an “affiliate” which is interesting wording.

This does suggest that if Crystal Dynamics were to be sold again they would take Tomb Raider, Legacy Kain and whatever other games they own with them. Crystal Dynamics is just entering pre-production of a new Tomb Raider game using Unreal Engine 5, and has been brought in by Microsoft to co-develop the Perfect Dark reboot. There’s no news on a game in the Legacy of Kain franchise, much to the internet’s annoyance.

Source: Crystal Dynamics

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4 Comments

  1. Strange statement really, if Embracer own CD, then CD work for them anyway. And in turn Embracer have the say on the game ip’s too. Definitely needs some clarification.

    • It’s some sort of legal business shenanigans, isn’t it? If something goes wrong, Embracer can throw CD under the bus while taking control of the various IPs. Or it’s some sort of accounting thing. Keep things under several smaller companies, while getting bigger and bigger all the time because you’re buying everything you can.

      Or maybe if they own so many things now, it’s just easier to let all those things run themselves? Embracer is just a company that owns smaller companies.

    • The only really important thing from the statements is regarding player data and who holds the rights to distribute back catalogue games. That’s pretty much it. CD is part of a new as yet unnamed division that will decide the direction of future games, same as Deep Silver, Saber Interactive, Gearbox etc. This is all about complying with GDPR and stuff, though.

  2. If it means there’s more chance of a new Legacy of Kain game that’d be cool. It does sound like accounting though.

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