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Swedish game publisher Embracer buys rights to ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Deux Ex’

Swedish video game publisher Embracer said on Monday that it had acquired three development studios responsible for hit games such as "Tomb Raider" and "Deus Ex" from Japanese publisher Square Enix.

Swedish game publisher Embracer buys rights to 'Tomb Raider' and 'Deux Ex'
Character figure of computer game heroine Lara Croft. Photo: Jörg Carstensen/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The acquisition of the three North American studios Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, totalled $300 million (285 million euros) and affects around 1,100 employees, Embracer said in a statement.

It also included the intellectual properties (IPs) for several best-selling franchises, such as “Tomb Raider,” starring British adventuring archeologist Lara Croft, who has been a video game character icon since her debut in 1996.

“We are thrilled to welcome these studios into the Embracer Group. We recognise the fantastic IP, world class creative talent, and track record of excellence that have been demonstrated time and again over the past decades,” Lars Wingefors, co-founder and CEO of Embracer, said in a statement.

Other well known IPs included in the deal were science fiction role-playing game “Deus Ex” and “Thief,” where players need to focus on stealth as they don the robes of a master thief.

The purchase is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close between July and September, the group said.

Following the close of the transaction, Embracer, which has been on an acquisition spree for several years, will have more than 14,000 employees and 124 internal game development studios.

Embracer, formerly known as THQ Nordic, is based in the town of Karlstad in western Sweden.

In a separate statement, Square Enix said “the move is based on the policy of business structure optimisation,” which it had outlined in its “medium-term business strategy,” announced in May of 2021.

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BUSINESS

Huawei loses Swedish appeal over 5G ban

A Swedish court on Wednesday rejected an appeal from China's Huawei over the government's decision to ban the network equipment giant from the rollout of 5G mobile network infrastructure in the Nordic country.

Huawei loses Swedish appeal over 5G ban

The administrative court of appeal in Stockholm said in a statement it believed it was fair to assume that the use of Huawei’s products in central functions of the 5G network “can cause harm to Sweden’s security.”

After the UK in the summer of 2020, Sweden became the second country in Europe and the first in the EU to explicitly ban Huawei from almost all of the network infrastructure needed to run its 5G mobile network.

Beijing warned at the time that the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority’s (PTS) decision could have “consequences” for the Scandinavian country’s companies in China, prompting Swedish telecom giant and Huawei competitor Ericsson to worry about retaliatory measures.

The PTS’ decision also included a provision that equipment already installed had to be removed by January 1, 2025, which the appeals court also confirmed.

“Sweden’s security is a particularly strong interest and the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority’s decision is based on a real, current and sufficiently serious threat to Sweden’s security,” judge Anita Linder said in a statement.

Huawei first appealed the decision to a lower court which also sided with the PTS in June 2021.

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