Square Enix, a Japanese gaming giant, sold around $300 million worth of intellectual property (IP) in an effort to fund its blockchain initiatives. The IP was connected to major franchises like Tomb Rider and Deus Ex. This was acquired by Embracer Group, which was formerly known as THQ Nordic AB/Nordic Games. The Swedish game maker also scooped up whole subsidiaries Eidos and Crystal Studios, and more than 50 titles, including Thief.
Embracer Group claims that its official web portal controls more than 850 franchises across 119 studios with popular titles Borderlands and Saints Row under its wide umbrella. It has $3.4 billion in assets of March 2021 and its market value currently stands at $7.46 billion.
Square Enix wants to align its overseas business lines with its products and services out of Tokyo. The company intends to maximize its worldwide revenue generated from future titles launched by its studios in Japan and abroad. However, Square Enix was vague about blockchain. The gaming giant highlighted that the deal enables the launch of new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the cloud. Moreover, the company has flagged its intent to tap the potential benefits of blockchain in shareholder letters dating back to May 2018. Square Enix had revealed that it would invest aggressively to make use of the technology.
Yoshuke Matsuda, the President, and CEO of Square Enix, had acknowledged in 2019 that non-crypto currency blockchain applications had risen out of the crypto mania the year prior. He was referring to non-fungible tokens, long before the surge in popularity of NFT projects like Bored Apes and CryptoPunks. At that time, CryptoKittens was the premiere NFT project.
In November 2021, Square Enix launched a suite of NFT digital cards under the “Shi-San-Sei Million Arthur” brand. This was in collaboration with a third-party NFT studio double jump.tokyo. It powered a free-to-play digital card game that echoed “Magic: The Gathering” and “Hearthstone”.