Square Enix is reportedly looking to sell off stakes in some of its wholly-owned owned development studios, and has said that Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montréal were sold because they “cannibalized” from the wider group.
Reported by games industry analyst David Gibson out of Square Enix’s latest earnings call, the publisher reportedly sees the unexpected sale of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal as ‘Phase 1’ of its changes to the business.
Phase 2 will apparently see Square Enix reviewing its portfolio of owned studios, deciding whether to retain full ownership, or allow other companies to buy stakes in those businesses. Per Gibson, the benefit of this would be to allow Square Enix to move resources around between studios more easily, with the view apparently towards being able to allocate “resources mainly to Japan titles.”
Gibson expects the likes of Sony, Tencent and Nexon to be interested in purchasing pieces of Square Enix’s studios, and management once again expressed interest in acquiring new developers to increase its portfolio.
The call reportedly also saw Square Enix explain that it made the decision to sell of its high-profile western developers because the likes of Crystal Dynamics “cannibalized” from the rest of the group, seemingly making resources harder to allocate across the whole development portfolio – presumably due to high development costs on the likes of Marvel’s Avengers.
IGN has contacted Square Enix for a statement on these announcements.
Square Enix’s remaining development studios include its four Creative Business Units (which make the likes of Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and the recent ‘HD-2D’ line of game), Luminous Productions (Forspoken), Tokyo RPG Factory (I Am Setsuna), Square Enix London Mobile (Tomb Raider Reloaded), and more.
Like the majority of gaming companies post-pandemic, Square Enix’s latest earnings saw net sales for its gaming segment fall year-on-year, although the incredibly successful Final Fantasy 14 once again bucked trends by seeing net sales rise, due to increased numbers of monthly subscribers.
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