What Does The Embracer Group Acquisition Mean For The Most Important IP, Gex?

What Does The Embracer Group Acquisition Mean For The Most Important IP, Gex?
Image: Lionsgate / Kotaku Australia

Tomb Raider this, Deus Ex that, yeah yeah. Whatever. But what about Gex? WHAT ABOUT GEX?!

As we know, The Embracer Group announced a deal to purchase multiple western studios and properties from Square Enix. The studios in question are Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, which cover a range of IPs including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain, as well as “the continued sales and operations of the studios’ more than 50 back-catalogue games”.

The press release also mentioned, “Crystal Dynamics is actively working on several AAA projects, including the next mainline Tomb Raider game that will deliver next-generation storytelling and gameplay experiences.” While the quote focuses on the next Tomb Raider game, they do say ‘several AAA projects’, which has me thinking.

Are they working on Gex 4?

Originally developed by Crystal Dynamics in 1995, the Gex series is a platform video game trilogy (for now) that follows Gex, an annoying lizard that can only survive if he continues to make direct references to ’90s pop culture. Much like a shark needing to continue swimming to survive, Gex will die if he stops making these references. Gex loves watching television just like us, but the evil Emperor Rez wants to destroy the world of television. It’s so sad.

Only four weeks ago we saw a demo from 2001 of a cancelled Gex Jr. game pop up, showing that Crystal Dynamics clearly continued to have plans for the little fella after his last game in 1999, Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko. Not just that, but the trademark for Gex was renewed by Square Enix two separate times over the past year, once in Europe in December 2021 and again in Japan in February 2022.

While the rehashing of trademarks is not usually concrete evidence that an IP will be making a return, it is interesting that Square Enix did so twice in the span of a few months after opening the Gex IP up in February 2015 for developers to pitch their game ideas to them. Very interesting indeed.

Will the TV-loving reptile live once more? Many television shows have been released since 1999, not to mention the rise of streaming services has greatly pulled away from TV-watching culture. Will we see a Gex that wants to Netflix and chill? A Gex that watched all of Succession in a week and is now questioning the power dynamics of the relationship with his father?

Or will this be the true end of Gex? Will The Embracer Group embrace the quirked-up lizard, or ‘send him to live on a farm?’ One can only hope that this will be the year of the Gex revival and that he will live to ‘see the world as Keith Richards does’ for another day.

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