The founder of Eidos Montreal, Stephane D’Astous, believes Square Enix was uninterested in its Western studios prior to their sale to Embracer Group, and this may have been due to a potential planned acquisition of Square Enix by Sony.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, D’Astous spoke about the possible reasoning for the surprisingly inexpensive sale of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal for $300 million to the massive video game holding company Embracer Group.
D’Astous shared that he wasn’t surprised about the soured relationship between Eidos and Square Enix. According to him, Square Enix in Japan was very demanding and seemed perpetually disappointed with the performance of the studio despite their successes. Eidos is responsible for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a very well-received game.
“I was losing hope that Square Enix Japan would bring great things to Eidos. I was losing confidence in my headquarters in London. In their annual fiscal reports, Japan always added one or two phrases saying, ‘We were disappointed with certain games. They didn’t reach expectations.’ And they did that strictly for certain games that were done outside of Japan.”
He continued by saying Square Enix Japan was not committed to their Western studios, and that he had heard rumours that Sony wanted to bring Square Enix into their ecosystem. He was led to believe that Sony only wanted Square Enix Tokyo and their Western studios didn’t interest the PlayStation creators. D’Astous guesses this could be a potential reason for the low price tag Embracer paid.
D’Astous mused on how Embracer Group paid $1.3 billion for Gearbox, which develops little outside Borderlands, while Eidos with five times the intellectual property sold for $1 billion less. He concludes, “I guess there weren’t a lot of key people interested. And it shows the health of the value of the potential of Eidos, unfortunately.”
D’Astous doesn’t blame all of Eidos’ woes on mismanagement from Japan, he also says Square Enix Europe in London made some bad decisions regarding the studio.
There is no official news regarding a Sony takeover of Square Enix, and D’Astous hasn’t been involved with Eidos in almost a decade. Still, it’s interesting to note what the studio founder thought of Square Enix and his guess at why Eidos, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal sold for so little.