The future of Marvel games remains unclear after the sale of Square Enix Embracer Group

Everything Marvel touches are turning to gold these days, or at least into a healthy $100 million opening weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised if the upcoming Doctor Strange movie in the Multiverse of Madness ended with a teaser for the sequel “Scarlet Witch Brushes Her Teeth,” which became the third highest-grossing movie of 2023. He defeated Morbius 2 and Morbius 3, of course, which opens on the same day and sees crowds of Fans are returning to theaters for a spin-off, double, and Morb Good Juice. The point is, Marvel makes a lot of money, and often you don’t really need to try. One of the major exceptions was in gaming, however, and after Square Enix sold some huge properties to the pocket changer Embracer Group (all for messing with the blockchain), I’m not sure if the future is any brighter.

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Some huge guns were sold in the deal. Tomb Raider is the main title, but Deus Ex and Thief are also prominent. Gex, Legacy of Kain, and Whiplash are some of the lesser-known titles I’m rooting for personally as well. This deal isn’t the same as Sony’s purchase of Bungie, or Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard King. It is precisely the IP address that is being sold. Square Enix was not purchased and will now focus on its beloved children such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Since this sale was for Eidos and Crystal Dynamics, it also means that Western Square Enix games like Life is Strange and Just Cause remain: Western Square Enix games. With Marvel titles, it’s hard to put them together.

Related: Why Square Enix sold Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics for just $300M

Marvel’s Avengers movie would have been a fiasco in anyone’s book, but Square Enix was particularly adamant about throwing it under the bus. It is manufactured by Crystal Dynamics, which will soon become owned by the Embracer Group. Nevertheless, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge success, earning a Game Award for Best Narrative, a string of BAFTA nominations, and most importantly taking the respected seventh place on the Game of the Year list. Square Enix is ​​still throwing it under the bus, apparently unhappy with its nearly zero post-marketing sales revenue. It is manufactured by Eidos, which will also soon own the Embracer Group.

This leaves the Marvel license in doubt. Square Enix was the one who brokered the deal with Disney, but did the sale to Embracer also include the Marvel rights? $300 million is really cheap for Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, and that’s without the other 15 or so properties, which have more than 50 titles. Does it really include the right to print the money that comes with a good Black Panther, Thor, or Captain Marvel game?

Embracer Group’s in-depth statement lists the titles it has purchased, while Square Enix is ​​equally detailed in describing what it still owns. It didn’t mention Avengers, Guardians, or Marvel itself. It seems likely that when buying Crystal Dynamics and Eidos, Embracer Group bought at least some (perhaps all) of future earnings from Avengers and GotG. It might have sequel rights, if there are deals with those studios already. It’s unlikely (although anything is possible at this point) that Embracer Group will own the full Marvel license that Square Enix once owned. During an after-sales call, the Embracer Group confirmed that once the deal is completed, Avengers will be an Embracer Group game, but what that means for sequels, bonding, and battle cards remains a mystery.

However, with this move, Square Enix has made it clear that it wants to get out of Dodge, and by “Dodge” I mean “any western studio.” The fact that Marvel hasn’t mentioned could mean that a deal is still in the works, possibly with Disney’s participation as well, to see who gets custody of the superhero kids. It’s also worth noting that the Marvel deal wasn’t exclusive (Insomniac has Spider-Man and Wolverine, Skydance Media makes a game rumored to be Fantastic Four or Ant-Man), so Embracer Group may need to renegotiate the deal from scratch, Square might be Enix Ready to shower and let it expire, or maybe Disney has already stepped in. Announced as a “multi-year, multi-game” deal, would two games in two years sufficiently cover “multiple it all” that the deal is dead?

Square Enix has always seemed uncomfortable with the idea, Disney may not have been too happy to see its biggest profit fail, and it’s possible that neither Crystal nor Eidos will be too happy to take the blame for Square Enix losses, even after Edios has repeatedly praised Marvel’s and Disney’s help in making the game. Probably no one wants super kids. Anyway, until someone tells us, we have no idea who owns that contract now, but don’t be surprised if we don’t hear from him again.

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