Square Enix has indicated that it intends to establish and/or acquire new game studios, in the same month it confirmed it’s agreed to sell off its biggest Western developers.
Swedish company Embracer announced last week that it has agreed to acquire a large part of Square Enix’s western development arm for $300 million, including Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, Square Enix Montreal and a catalog of IPs including Tomb Raider and Deus Ex.
In an official statement, Square Enix said at the time that the deal would let it focus on investments in blockchain, AI and the cloud.
In its financial results published on Friday, the Final Fantasy publisher was able to further explain its reasoning behind the sell offs.
It said the sales would allow it to achieve sustained growth through “selection and concentration of company resources”, better aligning overseas publishing operations with its Tokyo HQ, and focusing on new businesses such as blockchain, AI and the cloud.
The company said it intended to reshape its Digital Entertainment portfolio partly through creating new IP, speeding up decision making through an integrated group management, and by “boost[ing] game development capabilities by establishing new studios, M&A, etc.”
Although it may seem surprising that Square Enix is already looking to establish studios so soon after selling established developers, it’s likely the company intends to pursue a different direction more closely aligned with its latest company goals.
In a statement issued alongside the Embracer announcement last week, Square Enix said that, “going forward, the company’s development function will comprise its studios in Japan, Square Enix External Studios, and Square Enix Collective.”
It added: “The Company’s overseas studios will continue to publish franchises such as Just Cause, Outriders and Life is Strange”.
The president of Square Enix stated last month the company’s Japanese studios shouldn’t try to make games aimed specifically at western players.
In an interview with Yahoo Japan, Yosuke Matsuda explains that while it’s vital that Square Enix’s games sell well on a global scale, it would be a mistake if its Japanese developers tried to imitate the western style of games.