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Embracer Group acquires Square Enix's Western studios and IPs (Deus Ex, Thief, Tomb Raider, etc)

Alphons

Cipher
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Nov 20, 2019
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But how has this Embracer group treated the IP's they've purchased so far? or is it just to early to say?

On one hand you've got Destroy all Humans! remake which revived dead franchise and brought it to PCs, generating enough money and interest for them to greenlight the remake of the second game.

On the other there's the Gothic remake- teaser they have released is terrible. "They've noted the feedback" but who knows how it's gonna end up.
 

RobotSquirrel

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Jagged Alliance 3 looks a bit on the meh side, But Outcast 2 looks interesting. Really comes down to what studio gets the IP.
My worst-case scenario is Gearbox gets Deus Ex. I didn't mind the Homeworld remaster but the last thing I want to see is some mutant of Deus Ex and Borderlands, that's why I hated Cyberpunk 2077.

I'm actually kinda hoping that they just keep Eidos Montreal open and continue the Jensen story. A remake of the original game would be incredibly ambitious unless they pulled a Final Fantasy and released the game in separate parts, I wouldn't be opposed to it as at least it'd get made.
 

deuxhero

Arcane
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Deus Ex doesn't need and wouldn't benifit from a remake, it just needs its the ancient engine updated and source released to ensure it will run on computers forever.
 

RobotSquirrel

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it just needs its the ancient engine updated and source released to ensure it will run on computers forever.

I agree that is something that needs to happen. The community has proven more capable of updating the game over long periods of time so naturally, it'd be preferable. But when companies acquire new IPs a remake is most definitely on the agenda.

The source is an issue because Epic won't officially allow it, you would need both the IP holder and the Engine developer to agree to it. Tim Sweeny had mentioned doing it but since Tencent now owns Epic I doubt it'll ever happen now.
 

J1M

Arcane
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Messages
12,884
it just needs its the ancient engine updated and source released to ensure it will run on computers forever.

I agree that is something that needs to happen. The community has proven more capable of updating the game over long periods of time so naturally, it'd be preferable. But when companies acquire new IPs a remake is most definitely on the agenda.

The source is an issue because Epic won't officially allow it, you would need both the IP holder and the Engine developer to agree to it. Tim Sweeny had mentioned doing it but since Tencent now owns Epic I doubt it'll ever happen now.
The source code to Unreal Engine 5 is open source. The only things holding back open sourcing Unreal Engine 1 are likely:
a) No profit motive for the company to assign resources to the project, meaning it would have to be a passion project of an employee.
b) Potential licensing problems if any licensed code/middleware was used in the engine.
 
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RobotSquirrel

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b) Potential licensing problems if any licensed code/middleware was used in the engine.
This is the problem though, Deus Ex 1's Engine uses proprietary code specifically the conversation system and there are some modifications to how unrealscript works.
So it's not as simple as just making Unreal 1 Open Sourced, you need the specific version that Deus Ex used.

Source: https://www.gamedeveloper.com/desig...he-tools-that-built-deus-ex-with-chris-norden

Interesting, the smell property actually does do something lol. I never understood why that was a thing, it's for the animal AI.

For my own games, I was able to replicate the mouth movement tech. It works really well but I needed to build the same editor Deus Ex had to control it. Mine doesn't use audio files but rather parses the dialogue in and associates it to a phoneme. there's no reason to use audio at this point since no VA.
 
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deuxhero

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b) Potential licensing problems if any licensed code/middleware was used in the engine.
This is the problem though, Deus Ex 1's Engine uses proprietary code specifically the conversation system and there are some modifications to how unrealscript works.

Yes, but it's basicly impossible for that code to be released without the UE1 source being released first. If the code is preserved, it's comparatively easy to get it released if/when UE1 was. I really hope the DNF leak with UE1 source spurs Epic into releasing it.
 

flyingjohn

Arcane
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Stupid question I know. But how has this Embracer group treated the IP's they've purchased so far? or is it just to early to say?
Great compared to the rest of the industry.
They actually use the IP'S to make games(questionable quality aside).And their focus on lower budgets means you are getting an AA experience with all the faults and strengths that has.
 

Riskbreaker

Guest
I'm actually kinda hoping that they just keep Eidos Montreal open and continue the Jensen story. A remake of the original game would be incredibly ambitious unless they pulled a Final Fantasy and released the game in separate parts, I wouldn't be opposed to it as at least it'd get made.
A remake of the first Deus Ex would be a tricky undertaking for other reasons viz., its subject matter and the status of conspiracy theory in general - at the time of the first game's appearance this could still be treated as something light-hearted and, where it didn't have some apolitical veneer, the politics could just as well be of the Left. Needless to say, things are very different today and a remake of Deus Ex true to the original writing would be courting controversy that few if any in this industry would dare court and from which they couldn't defend themselves by some claims of the game's writing being meta, being self-aware etc.

So a continuation of the Jensen story focusing on the transhumanism in the sense of the place and plight of transhumans or AI would be infinitely safer and more attractive route to take. The transhuman question could be taken straight as this is increasingly becoming a matter of mainstream discussion instead of being relegated to speculative fiction and fringes of academic philosophy, as well as a metaphor for the ethnic minorities, transgender etc today.
 

J1M

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Ghulgothas

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There's no way in hell they're going to settle for 'mere' ports or polish jobs with these IPs. They're big into ground-up remakes because it allows them to:
A. Sell higher.
B. Market them more effectively to a general consumer-base instead of autistic enthusiasts and crusty outcasts (like here!).
C. Facilitate their wishes for brand revival and potential for future profit.

But how has this Embracer group treated the IP's they've purchased so far? or is it just to early to say?

On one hand you've got Destroy all Humans! remake which revived dead franchise and brought it to PCs, generating enough money and interest for them to greenlight the remake of the second game.

On the other there's the Gothic remake- teaser they have released is terrible. "They've noted the feedback" but who knows how it's gonna end up.
They're also the ones who gave out the Desperados license to MiMiMi which resulted in Desperados III IIRC, which turned out to be a well-enough hit. I think they're also involved in with the KOTOR remake by way of Aspyr but that's still an enduring mystery as to what it's going to look like.

Hits and misses, it's just a matter of giving it to the right people. But who the fuck are the right people for Thief and Deus Ex? I'd have said Arkane in lieu of anyone better, maybe they're going to hit-up Raphael Colantonio and WolfEye Studios once they're all done hanging around Weird West.

My worst-case scenario is Gearbox gets Deus Ex.
Simple, give Gex to GearBox. I can think of no more fitting studio to do the lizard justice than the one behind Borderlands.
 
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Bad Sector

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1,735
Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex
All open source code has a license attached to it explaining rights and responsibilities.

Rusty meant that this isn't what open source is, from the open source definition:

Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria: *criteria follows*

The UE4/UE5 license fails several of these criteria with the most obvious being the first one since it requires royalties.

Some people think that "open source" means "having access to code" but that was the result of a FUD compaign by Microsoft back in the late 90s/early 2000s when they considered GPL as "cancer" that threatened their business model. It spread since it sounds correct despite practically nobody using that term before it was coined up back in the late 90s to provide an alternative name for Free software that was easier for businesses to accept as it came without the ethical implications about user freedom. Which is also why "open source" spread farther than "free software" (and also because many confused it with "freeware" thinking free meant zero price instead of freedom, which is also something that Microsoft's FUD campaign took advantage of).

UE4/UE5 is generally considered as Source-available software.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
917
300 million for all these IPs seems to be dirt cheap. S-E must have been really jonesing to get rid of them.
they don't need those IPs and studios anymore, because...

Square Enix says Embracer sales will help it invest in blockchain

I swear, those guys at Square Enix just hate gaming.
Cool they now hold nothing I care about to ransom. Whilst the chance of a new Legacy of Kain game is at a liquid 10%, that is still better than the 0% chance under Square-Enix.

Now the chance of a good Legacy of Kain game that actually continues on from the cliffhanger from Defiance, respects the franchise and expands it in a meaningful way is at best 5%. And a Deus Ex game that is proper redpilling conspiracy stuff and not woke analogies to aparthied is 0%

Frankly we should count our lucky stars if the next Thief is even a first person game.
 

toughasnails

Learned
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
441
A remake of the first Deus Ex would be a tricky undertaking for other reasons viz., its subject matter and the status of conspiracy theory in general - at the time of the first game's appearance this could still be treated as something light-hearted and, where it didn't have some apolitical veneer, the politics could just as well be of the Left. Needless to say, things are very different today and a remake of Deus Ex true to the original writing would be courting controversy that few if any in this industry would dare court and from which they couldn't defend themselves by some claims of the game's writing being meta, being self-aware etc.
The one thing that could be a problem if the game was remade from scratch today would be that some tards might see a commentary on the whole pandemic and vaccines situation in there, which is something that is still fresh in people's minds. I don't think that there is much else in the game that could be accused of being right wing.
 

toughasnails

Learned
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
441
There remains a possibility for the remasters of early TR games and a lower budget spin-off made in their vein, but I don't see why they'd move away from the current formula for mainline games given how successful the recent entries were.
 

LESS T_T

Arcane
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
13,447
Codex 2014
300 million for all these IPs seems to be dirt cheap. S-E must have been really jonesing to get rid of them.
they don't need those IPs and studios anymore, because...

Square Enix says Embracer sales will help it invest in blockchain

I swear, those guys at Square Enix just hate gaming.

"What, did I say something?" https://www.gamedeveloper.com/busin...00-million-studio-sale-on-blockchain-projects

Square Enix won't spend cash from $300 million studio sale on blockchain projects
The company recently sold major studios and franchises including Tomb Raider and Deus Ex to Embracer.

Square Enix has explained that cash from the sale of key studios and franchises won't be used to fund blockchain initiatives.

The Japanese company recently sold three key studios including Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montreal to Embracer for $300 million and suggested the proceeds would be used, in part, to move forward with investments in fields "including blockchain, AI, and the cloud."

Now, however, the company has dialled back those sentiments and instead says it will use the funds to bolster its development capabilities, echoing remarks it made last month.

"Rather than using the proceeds from the divestiture in new investment domains such as NFT and blockchain, we intend to use them primarily to fund our efforts to foster solid IP and to enhance our development capabilities in our core Digital Entertainment segment," explained the company in a financial briefing.

Further outlining the rationale behind the Embracer deal, Square Enix said the primary purpose of the transaction was to reorient its portfolio with a view to "stepping up our offering of online titles that we develop for the North American and the European market."

"We want to focus on creating new titles that align with our strategy, including ones that leverage new IP," added the company. "In addition to reorienting our portfolio, we will also enhance our publishing function."
 

RaggleFraggle

Educated
Joined
Mar 23, 2022
Messages
251
After the market crash Square realizes they screwed up and now have no idea where to spend their new funding. Who could have foreseen such an outcome? /s

Welp, they weren't going anywhere with these IPs anyway so let's hope that Embracer does a better job.
 

LESS T_T

Arcane
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
13,447
Codex 2014
Interview with Lars Wingefors: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/artic...r-and-transmedia-what-next-for-embracer-group

"I've been growing up with these IPs. I remember shipping the first Tomb Raider when running my mail-order business back in Sweden in 1996, I guess, on Sega Saturn, and importing it from the UK. It was fantastic, and the same goes with other IPs. And so, for me, it's just bringing something to people that love it. We will take good care of the people, the IPs, and if we set reasonable expectations, I think we will also be happy with the financial performance on this. Could you do things that are more lucrative in this industry? For sure. But that doesn't mean to me that you need to always maximise, and only do things that have the highest potential for the highest margins. If you do that, your business will become quite boring after some time."

Expectations have certainly been a deciding factor in the evolution of Tomb Raider. Despite the critical acclaim and millions of sales for the series' 2013 reboot, Square Enix famously said the game missed expectations -- something it has since said about Crystal Dynamics' Avengers title and Eidos Montreal's Guardians of the Galaxy. Every company has a different process, so how does Embracer Group set realistic expectations for its releases?

"For me, it's about the business risk you're taking, the financial return you're getting out of that. And obviously, when you have an IP such as Tomb Raider, you can look a lot at the historical outcomes. I run my business on absolute numbers, not to percentages. And if you invest whatever, not talking necessarily about Tomb Raider, but a big AAA -- let's say you're investing $150 million and you bring in $300 million, or $250 million. That might be okay. You don't have to do 10X over some period of time. And you can always work with platform holders, you can do collaborations, you can do some de-risking on the financing. Obviously with iconic IPs, you can bring that IP to other media and companies where you can have some more profits coming through."
 

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