Is Tomb Raider now owned by Amazon? Well, nobody really knows for sure, but one website has run a report saying so. According to The Lord of the Rings fansite, Fellowship of Fans, Embracer Group is in the process of selling the iconic IP to the juggernaut company.
As part of a wider report about the rights to Tolkein's works changing hands, the site also claims Embracer has "just sold" the Tomb Raider rights to Amazon in a deal worth approximately 600 million (the currency was not specified, though is presumably USD). Fellowship of Fans cites anonymous sources for its report.
You may recall that Embracer Group made a major acquisition last year, which saw it take ownership of basically all of Square Enix's development studios and their IPs, including Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex) and Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider). The deal went through for about $300 million. If the report is true, it means that Embracer has sold just one of its properties for twice as much as it paid for several IPs and studios.
Given the source of the story, we're taking this with a pinch of salt for now. We know a new Tomb Raider game is in the works, that Amazon is publishing it, and a TV show is also in production. There's plenty of Lara Croft to come in the future, then, but whether Amazon has acquired the rights is still an unknown for now.
[source fellowshipoffans.com, via gamesradar.com]
if true, an absolutely seismic, earthshattering L for Square Enix AGAIN. how do they do it
The TV show & new game is gonna be based off the new lara and not tank top lara solo raiding tombs huh ?
If true it just goes to show how astonishingly stupid Square Enix was to sell off so much including Tomb Raider for relative peanuts
Wonder if this will force Sony to make another Uncharted game. Seems like not doing it would be to cede the ground on this type of game without a fight.
It always seemed like they sold the IPs AND studios for pennies on the dimes.
When Square Enix sold off this IP plus studios, and a few more, for relatively so little I couldn't understand it. Felt like a firesale.As Embracer are struggling right now with several average releases and few hits, this would make sense short term, but not long term. This is exactly the sort of IP they need if they want to turn things around.
If this is true, then it just highlights yet another baffling decision by Square Enix.
Can you imagine if SE didn't have FF14? And FF16 coming out this year? It's crazy how mismanaged it is as a company.
They must be spewing after that. Only themselves to blame though.
I'm still a bit surprised that Sony didn't want to grab it. Since Tomb Raider was sold to EG, I thought to myself that CD would have been good for continuing with new Uncharted games and continue to make Tomb Raider while taking turns releasing them aswell as gain some help from Naughty Dog. Uncharted could have continued to be exclusive and the other continue to be multiplatform. Some cross over missions (similar to what Assassin's Creed did) between them would have been nice.
Regardless of whether this is true or not, Square-Enix sold off those studios and IPs for far less than they should have.
People forget, that square didn't just sell the IP and studios for $300 million. They sold it for $300 million + Embraced taking on all of their debts. God knows how much that actually is. They needed the debt gone to "potentially be ready for an acquisition"
Didn't embracer also pay off squares debt? As well as the £300 Millon?
If so embracer could of spent over a billion on the acquisition altogether.
Square Enix, what are you doing? I mean, I could have predicted that they way undervalued the IP that they sold. I’m not sure Amazon is who I want to have control of the Tomb Raider franchise anyways.
Y'know I'm curious to see how the new game is going to be like.
But I'm not exactly very optimistic.
Amazon was the first call from ABK, and they didn’t take it i suppose, but then MS snagged them. Seems like amazon’s phone rings a lot when things are up for sale in the video game industry. Wonder if they will go after more.
Has Amazon made any games for consoles yet? I just wonder what this would mean for the future of TR on consoles. Maybe they’re making a lot of games, I really don’t know.
If true than embracer made a great profit.
@Th3solution really looks like they were shredding studios for an acquisition.
Nice flip by Embracer, big flop by Square, who is dangerously close to becoming too reliant on just Final Fantasy.
Amazon is just going to be Microsoft 2.0, throwing lots of money at things does not guarantee a good product , especially in gaming.
Too bad Sony didn't snap up Square's lazy fire sale.
If Uncharted is mostly over, a new TR game would be cool.
Maybe a cross-over with characters from both franchises.
Now Amazon owns the IP...
I'm fine with this so long as Amazon doesn't make the franchise become woke trash. I've heard a lot of complaints from Lord of the Rings fans.
@Americansamurai1 It sure seems that way. But still, they should have shed Tomb Raider for a bigger profit. Unless maybe there’s some kind of financial implication to making more money on the sale of those IP’s and thus driving away those companies that might acquire them. I don’t know how these things work.
I wonder if Sony is kicking the tires on buying Square Enix but know that they can’t do that whilst battling the legality of Microsoft’s Activision acquisition at the same time.
THIS franchise is part of Sony´s history, has potencial for games, tv, cinema, why they didnt bought it from Square at that price is beyond me.
@Th3solution maybe they wanted to keep their value lower to attract buyers is the only thing I can think of. Not sure if Sony is holding off due to the Activision acquisition or not because square is no where near the size of Activision or Bethesda for that matter, closer to bungie I think which they had no issue in acquiring, but only time will tell.
Square-Enix be like:
‘Insert Surprised Pikachu meme’
We don't know the currency for the rumor, though, as $600 million USD seems like a lot for just the Tomb Raider IP (although, maybe it's the right price for it, considering it's a fairly decent-sized IP). If it's 600 million Swedish Krona, then that would be roughly $57 million USD.
SE is just FF at this point. They have nothing going on there.Just FF publisher should be the name.
I hope Tomb Raider turns out okay after all this. While it's had its ups and downs I've always been fond of the series as a whole. It's a bit concerning to see it seemingly being pulled in so many different directions from multiple companies.
Amazon wouldn’t mess up the TV show. They are great at turning IPs into successful shows. Just look at Lord of the Rings. The best first season I’ve ever watched. It didn’t turn against the fans. So at least we won’t have to worry about that.
@GodofCapcom I know right I mean it's not like they have Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest, Octopath, Bravely, NieR, Drakengard, Mana, Star Ocean nah all they have is Final Fantasy 🙄
I don't like this at all. The series is too big to die off, in fact, it could be a big hit for Amazon but chances are we'll now never get something closer to classic Lara and that's disappointing.
@UltimateOtaku91 If that's true then its make sense
Each passing acquisition in the gaming industry just makes Sony's $229M purchase of Insomniac an absolute steal.
To be fair Square sold those IPs but they also sold the dept of said companies that do not know if it was "a lot" or not. Here we had selling houses and even football clubs (!) for 1 euro due to depts that the original owners could not pay.
As for Amazon I hope they don't butcher such an iconic female character as Lara Croft like they did to Galandriel in the recent LoTR series by having her being stupid or acting like a five year kid.
Platinum games is "gone" so no nier. so it's just ff with a kingdom hearts per two gens. Dragon Quest is one per gen. So mostly FF. Have you seen their recent mediocre published games in the last few years? FF is carrying that publisher atm. They would have been bought already without FF.
The rest are just small fries.
@GodofCapcom They don't need Platinum to make more NieR games the Replicant remake was great and made without their input
Idk. It is just ff 4 me
Ohh nooo.... another milking cow on horizon...
Seems a little sketchy, especially given the source, but if it's true, I can't see it boding well. I assume Amazon would use TR as an exclusive to properly launch Luna into the 4-way platform fight, but I don't trust their track record to successfully manage such a maneuver well. Better than Google managed, but still not sure how solid that "soft relaunch" launch would go.
@Americansamurai1 I don't think they were shedding studios for an acquisition, I think they were shedding debt to avoid defaulting.
I wonder if this is a new trend, selling a single IP to the highest bidder?
Well Amazon Games and Crystal Dynamics were already making the game and TV.
They saw Witcher and TLOU and thought better to just lock down the IP before they make it blow up with the stuff they are making anyway.
@JaphyRider Rumors of a Cassie Uncharted game are flying around so who knows
@NEStalgia what makes me question that is the low price that they sold those studios and ips for. It seemed rushed and with the market being so high they could have got a lot more
Everyone dunking on Square-Enix's loss here...who cares, they'll be fine.
What about Crystal Dynamics? They had to give up finishing their own Tomb Raider Trilogy to work on Avengers, only to have that killed by bad management, rigid IP guidelines, and overzealous sales expectations...and now they're seemingly losing Tomb Raider as well? Is Embracer just selling the IP to Amazon, are they just selling the multimedia rights, or is everything going to Amazon?
All of these situations sound bad for Crystal, who just can't seem to catch a break.
I definitely agree with that.
At this point CD would be better signing a new exclusivity deal with Sony or Microsoft to create a new IP. I dunno if they have the money to do it on their own.
@Americansamurai1 The pricing at face value is practically free, but I believe included bundled debt. I.E. "We'll sell you 2/3 of our assets for 300m + acquiring our debt portfolio of 1.2bn.". Making the real purchase price a totally made up 1.5bn, but only 300m on paper, as the rest is outstanding debt obligations owed to creditors, with the obligation turned over to embracer.
We'll never know for sure, but usually when there's suspiciously low sale price, that's just the book value and the transferred debt is included in the real cost.
Like buying real estate at auction but it's loaded with liens owed, or like the banking practice of subprime loan bundling that lead to the 2008 mortgage crisis...
The bigger question is just how much debt square racked up, including Japan devs that they offloaded in that sale, and are they any more solvent now or just racking up new debt?
@NEStalgia Okay, that makes a lot of sense. If they bought them for $300 million AND acquired 1.2b debt, then selling one asset for $600 million only covers half the loss of the debt. While I assume you're dealing with mostly made-up numbers just as an example, it explains how this might happen without threats of a lawsuit over the original acquisition.
@NEStalgia really true who knows
@OrtadragoonX They can't make outside deals, and don't have the money for anything, they're wholly owned by Embracer Group.
If Embracer sells them, or their IP, or both, there's nothing anyone who works there can do, except voice their concerns to management and/or quit.
Holy crap! That's what i call a good business decision.
Embracer get to keep crystal dynamics too, i'm assuming.
I don't get what Amazon thinks they are getting... i don't think there is much else that can be done with the IP.
Maybe now CD can go back to Legacy of Kain. 😁
@NEStalgia I know you just use made up numbers but surelyit would have been better for Square enix to have sold that IP for 600million and pay of their debt that sale the studios along with the IP.
@carlos82 I think the fact that Square-Enix sold them to use the money to invest in NFTs was already proof enough of their stupidity.
plenty of mediocre lara coming in the future more like it. none of the attached publishers, including amazon know what they are doing with video games. the lotr show was also disappointing from amazon...
Whoever truly owns it has a rough road ahead. Some fans want “ye olde” puzzle-centric games, others like the newer action/puzzle direction (me).
I’m crossing my fingers and looking for a voodoo priest to make things right!
As long as the games are handled by decent game developer teams and given enough time and budget, I'm fine with Amazon owning the rights.
@knowles2 Yeah made up numbers, just as an example. Could be less than that. Could be more, could be way more.
Maybe they could have got 600m for one ip, but that offer probably wasn't on the table at the time, and even if it was, we don't know how much debt they really offloaded in the deal. When you look at the other figures for other sales, Bungie, abk, Bethesda, and compare to the value of all of square West plus IP, that all was worth waaay more than 300m. Waay more than 600m. Realistically that 1.2bn debt number I made up is probably very low. The real purchase cost for all of square West may well be in the billions.
For a debt like that we have to think of the troubled development and failure if avengers. The overspending on all those games they said underperformed despite selling well. The games they played with PCF and Outriders. The dev hell of FFXV. Completely remaking FFXIV, the mediocre sales of deus ex md, the raw costs of marvel licenses, etc. Realistically they may have been borrowing a lot of money without the cod-like returns they expected to pay it off, and if they were at risk of default would have needed to get rid of it quick.
All hypothetical, not even the shareholders will ever know.... Which is the point.... The budget is balanced, nothing to see here.... No ledgers in the shredder... .
But I think it's reasonable to think that embracer is still holding a lot of square debt even if they make 600m on the ip.
What's weird if true though it's embracer then has a studio with no ip to work on with crystal dynamics. The rumor doesn't mention the studio going with the ip
@Nem Amazon is probably trying to use TR as an exclusive to soft reboot Luna as their Game Pass competitor, and do the Sony style mixed media franchise package. It's reasonably likely if true, TR will be a streaming exclusive and not a console game. But maybe free with prime to get people to get into using Luna
Yeah good luck with that in the current political climate lol.
If this is true, ideally it should be fine if they can fully focus on making a good TR game for this current generation but, assuming this one news piece below is true, seems like that is asking for too much.-_-'
@NEStalgia It weird but Embracer is such a big group of different developers now. Perhaps they intending for Crystal dynamics team to be a group of developers that they can deploy to aid other developers in the group.
Embracer strategy isn't all that clear to me to be honest. An it seem like they got a incredibly messy structure. It going to be interesting to see what happens with it in the coming.
They also got no shortage of IPs for Chrystal Dynamic to be assign.
@knowles2 Embracer is a weird one in general, because like Square itself, they have to be swimming in unmanageable debt at this point with the buying spree they've been on, yet they don't really release a large amount of revenue generating product, they seem to be more of an IP holding firm at this point, yet with a massive amount of production talent and minimal products to show for it. They're a bit of a wild card in terms of what their future is IMO. The cynical part of me wants to say they'll come crashing down in an ugly way at some point, much like the original THQ, combined with the fact the founder/CEO has gone bankrupt twice before in the games business.... yet I want them to succeed because unlike so many behemoth companies, their founder/CEO seems genuinely dedicated to the games industry so their intentions are coming from a good place, which should be good for fans. But they don't have much to show for it or much of a history of showing anything for it.
Crystal Dynamics is in a weird place. They were the TR studio, then Square forced them away from that for the Avengers nightmare. Then Square rented them out to Microsoft where as far as anyone knows they're still actually working with The Initiative as co-developer for the Perfect Dark reboot. So they're busy enough for now, still winding down Avengers for Squares part of the deal I assume and working on Perfect Dark. I know GrumbleVolcano speculated a while back that Square was intended to sell Crystal to MS until the ABK deal happened. It's possible CD works as a sort of independent studio under Embracer ownership taking up third party contracts as an outside revenue stream sort of like an Embracer version of Sony xDev. Including perhaps TR for Amazon.
@Coolmusic Yeah, that's the kind of thing I expect whenever a big company buys a big IP, they're not just planning to continue it as-is they're planning to turn it into a brand empire, and I just don't see TR as nearly big enough for what the suits want it to do. And Amazon has a history of buying industries they don't understand at all, then trying to shoehorn it into their own model that doesn't work for it (read the sad saga of fabrics.com, etc.) It's not that Amazon doesn't necessarily have good intentions in these things, but that they get in their own way of not understanding what they actually bought, they just see numbers on an earnings sheet and make assumptions.
Either way I still 100% expect TR to be a Luna streaming exclusive. I'd be shocked if they actually made console/PC games.
@themightyant Quality over quantity and less €300 plus CE that don't sell would help them out.
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