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E73: Embracer Group acquires three studios from Square Enix.
Good morning gamers! Swedish video game holding company Embracer Group has entered into an agreement with Square Enix to acquire their Western development studios Eidos, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal for $300 million. The transaction is expected to be approved and closed during the period of July to September 2022. The deal also includes,
Full controlling interest over a catalog of more than 50 intellectual properties including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief and Legacy of Kain.
The possibility of taking over the publishing rights to Marvel’s Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, pending Disney approval.
Speaking of Marvel, Square Enix reportedly lost $200 million between Marvel’s Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. This news comes from Senior MST Financial Analyst David Gibson who also said that the idea of Square Enix selling off their Western production studios to simply “launch new businesses […] in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud” was silly. Both Greg Miller and Jeff Grubb believe that Square Enix could have offloaded their Western studios in preparation for a potential larger sale to Sony.
According to MauroNL, once the acquisition closes Embracer Group will have more than 14,000 employees, 10,000 game developers, 124 internal development studios and 900 owned IPs with 230 upcoming games.
Fortnite and Xbox Team Up
Xbox announced the release of their free Cloud Gaming Beta, a service that requires no installation or subscription. Players can now take advantage of Cloud Gaming technology to play Fortnite on iOS, Android or PC. Xbox plans to bring more free-to-play games to the cloud in the future.
How Cloud Gaming works: Players will need to use a new or existing Microsoft account on their device with internet connection to sign in at xbox.com/play. Once signed in, players can join the Fortnite party and play with touch screen controls or a Bluetooth controller.
Big picture: Epic Games previously stated that they would never bring Fortnite to Xbox’s streaming service as they were considered the competition. Now, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney says players can play for free on any device including iPhone and iPad without having to pay the 30% Apple Tax. The introduction of Xbox Cloud Gaming is a huge win for Epic Games since they lost their lawsuit against Apple and Fortnite is blacklisted on iOS.
The world’s largest charitable esports and gaming festival Gamers Without Borders is back with a brand new edition featuring a $10m prize pool that will be donated to various global pandemic aid organizations for vaccine distribution in underdeveloped countries. The event will host regional tournaments across the globe and will cover a huge variety of games including Dota 2, CS:GO, Rocket League, Fortnite and more.
KennyS, One of CS:GO’s all-time best players (known for his incredible AWPing skills) confirmed on stream that he was close to playing professional Valorant for OG but the move was blocked by Riot Games for unknown reasons. He was supposed to be loaned out by G2 Esports for a short two-month stint where Kenny hoped to showcase his abilities to play Valorant professionally.
Fortnite is one of the world’s most popular games and with the imminent return of major FNCS events, the North American esports org Dignitas has decided to enter the scene. Their big move comes with a starstuded roster of Mero, Pgod and Dukez. They’ve got multiple FNCS Championships, Cash Cups and Twitch Rival event wins between them and are already seen as the the most dominant new trio in Fortnite.
Nintendo has often gone against 3rd party Super Smash Bros events but Tyler “Ninja” Blevins recently revealed that Nintendo shut down his attempt to donate $500k to 2019s Evo Smash Ultimate prize pool.
The esports data platform GRID is launching The Champion of Champions Tour, a global CS:GO circuit featuring a $3.4m prize pool. They’ve partnered with a number of tournament organizers such as FACEIT, FantasyExpo, Relog Media, Black Molly Entertainment and Eden Esports to help with all of the regional logistics.
Sony’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission; it’s not yet clear if the deal is in jeopardy.
Off The Grid, a third-person story-driven battle royale game from District 9 and Elysium director Neill Blomkamp is expected to be released in 2023.
Mafia has a new game in development at Hangar 13. The game is expected to be a prequel to the Mafia trilogy running on Unreal Engine 5.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl will be revealing new character news on May 13th at 9AM PST. The game was initially released on October 5th, 2021.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 may be linked to the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV-series. Ewan McGregor mentioned the game on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
Crytek has appointed Mattias Engström, the game director of Hitman 3 at IO Interactive to lead the development of Crysis 4.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake is now in development at Ubisoft Montreal, where the Sands of Time trilogy was originally created.
Summer Games Fest will be hosted by Geoff Keighley on June 9th at 11AM PST. The showcase will feature reveals from across the gaming industry.
Bloodborne 2 was hinted at by PlayStation insider and former IGN journalist Colin Moriarty on Episode 200 of the Sacred Symbols.
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