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Tomb Raider writer sells iconic online game franchise to put money into blockchain

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Tomb Raider is among the most well-known online game franchises of all time.

Christian Petersen | Getty Images

The iconic Tomb Raider online game franchise is being bought by its Japanese writer Square Enix as a part of a $300 million deal.

Square Enix mentioned Monday it’s going to offload three of its sport improvement studios — Eidos Interactive, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal — to Swedish agency Embracer Group.

Embracer can even purchase the mental property for Tomb Raider and three different sport collection, together with Deux Ex, Thief and Legacy of Kain.

Square Enix mentioned it’s promoting the property to chop down on prices amid a difficult international enterprise surroundings and put money into new applied sciences just like the blockchain.

The deal “enables the launch of new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud,” Square Enix mentioned in an announcement saying the information.

The firm’s dedication to ramp up spending in blockchain — the expertise behind many cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens — led to some backlash on social media. One consumer mentioned the transfer was “like selling your house for magic beans.”

The gamer crowd has usually been skeptical about NFTs — digital property designed to signify possession of one-of-a-kind collectible objects.

While proponents of the expertise say it might unlock new sorts of gaming experiences, many players aren’t satisfied, viewing NFTs as an environmentally dangerous money seize.

Tomb Raider is among the most well-known online game franchises of all time. The video games see gamers navigate British archaeologist Lara Croft by way of a collection of historic tombs and dangerous ruins. It has bought greater than 80 million copies so far.

Tomb Raider’s heroine rapidly grew to become a cultural icon, inspiring quite a few movies and merchandise, whereas additionally upsetting a debate over the oversexualization of feminine characters within the gaming business.

Square Enix, which is finest identified for its widespread Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts video games, acquired possession of the Tomb Raider collection after shopping for Eidos Interactive in 2009.

It is now set to grow to be the property of Sweden’s Embracer, with the corporate anticipating the deal can be authorized and finalized by the top of September.

Embracer just isn’t a family title in gaming. Originally arrange as a comic book e-book and video games retailer, the corporate has grow to be one in every of Europe’s largest gaming teams after snapping up a slew of main studios together with Gearbox, developer of the Borderlands shooter franchise, and Koch Media.

Gaming analysts mentioned the deal worth for Square Enix’s Western property was surprisingly low, however that the corporate had lengthy been looking for a purchaser.

“Square Enix has been seeking to offload this part of its business to restructure and focus its investments,” Piers Harding-Rolls, head of video games analysis at Ampere Analysis, informed CNBC.

“It has struggled to get consistent commercial success out of those studios, and it wants to build a leaner organisation with a more compelling growth and profit story for its shareholders.”

Square Enix mentioned it’s going to proceed to publish titles from different worldwide franchises, together with Just Cause, Outriders and Life is Strange.

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