The sale of Square Enix subsidiary Crystal Dynamics has raised some questions about the state of the studio's in-development projects, but its reboot of Perfect Dark will continue in-house development.
Early this morning, Square Enix announced that it would be selling Crystal Dynamics (along with sister studios Eidos and Square Enix Montreal) to Swedish company Embracer. The fate of games like Perfect Dark was briefly uncertain, but according to a report from GameSpot, that particular title will survive the acquisition. Co-development studio The Initiative has formally confirmed that they will continue their work on Perfect Dark alongside Crystal Dynamics following the acquisition.
Perfect Dark is a reboot of the classic Nintendo 64 title of the same name, taking place shortly after that game. It was announced in December 2020 as a new project from Microsoft-owned studio The Initiative. Crystal Dynamics was announced as a development partner in September 2021. Little has been heard about the project since Crystal Dynamics' involvement was reported.
Embracer's acquisition of Crystal Dynamics will still impact several projects. Prior to its acquisition, Crystal Dynamics announced a new Tomb Raider game, which will be powered by Unreal Engine 5. Following the acquisition, Embracer mentioned Tomb Raider but also singled out dormant franchises like Thief, Legacy of Kain and Deus Ex as IPs that it would like to explore. The Thief series hasn't seen a new entry since 2014's Thief, an attempted reboot of the series, while Deus Ex hasn't had a new title since Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in 2016. The Legacy of Kain series has been out of the picture for even longer, with the last mainline entry, Legacy of Kain: Defiance, released in 2003.
What Embracer's role as Crystal Dynamics' parent company will actually mean for franchises like Tomb Raider, Thief, Legacy of Kain and Deus Ex isn't entirely clear. Embracer has also yet to mention Crystal Dynamics' live-service title, Marvel's Avengers. What is known at this time is that The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics will continue to work on the Perfect Dark reboot for Xbox.
Perfect Dark will release on Xbox Series X|S and Microsoft Windows. It will be available on each platform's respective Game Pass service. A release date is currently unknown, but the game is expected sometime in 2023. For now, players can enjoy the original Perfect Dark on Nintendo 64 and its prequel, Perfect Dark Zero, on Xbox 360 and Xbox One via the system's backward compatibility.