By Flor Orsetti
Embracer Group THQQF was one of the key players in the video game world this year.
As recently reported by Benzinga, Embracer was one of the business conglomerates that acquired the largest number of videogame studios in 2022. In addition, the company got ahold of relevant franchises such as “The Lord of the Rings.”
Now, the Swedish company is back on the scene, as it could be responsible for reviving the beloved “Legacy of Kain” saga.
In May 2022, Embracer acquired Crystal Dynamics (“Tomb Raider,” “Avengers”), Eidos Montréal (“Deus Ex”) and the studio (now closed) known as Onoma (formerly Square Enix Montreal). Following these moves, Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors commented on the possible plans for the iconic franchises that were part of the acquisition.
Apart from the obvious sequels, he also mentioned “remakes, remasters, spin-offs, as well as transmedia projects.”
At the time, the news was very welcome, and more than a few fans were excited to know that the outlook dictated “Tomb Raider” and “Deus Ex” would stick around for a while. In fact, Lara Croft’s next adventure is already in development in Unreal Engine 5.
But it seems like this prolific future will not be exclusive to the big blockbusters popularized in the past by Eidos. Embracer has plans for its niche franchises as well.
Just a couple of months ago, the company published an open poll asking “Legacy of Kain” fans what they would like to see in a possible resurrection of the saga. The franchise has been inactive since 2003, when “Legacy of Kain: Defiance” was released, almost 20 years ago. Nevertheless, being inactive doesn’t mean being forgotten.
In Embracer’s most recent financial report, the company communicated how surprised and excited it is with the results. More than 100,000 fans left their answers, making it clear they want nothing but to return to the world of Nosgoth. Fans want to live nostalgic adventures, such as the adventures of the must-see Soul Reaver, one of the most beloved releases of “Legacy of Kain,” whose creator is, by the way, Amy Hening – also director of the first three “Uncharted.”
Phil Rogers, head of Embracer’s Operating Group, which is made up of Crystal Dynamics and its two aforementioned sister companies, stated that the company previously found that surveys typically get between 1,000 and 3,000 answers. The numbers for “Legacy of Kain” are overwhelming in comparison, and even more so if we think that a total of 73,000 players completed the survey. Rogers made it clear that they heard the fans “loud and clear.”
Unfortunately, Embracer did not share details from the responses. Respondents were asked to choose whether they would prefer the next game in the series to be a single-player title, a co-op game, or a PvP multiplayer.
Given that it is a cherished saga, remembered for its puzzles, characters and narrative, it is very likely that most gamers opted for an immersive single-player experience.
Gamers were also asked whether they prefer a reboot of the saga (as is the case of “Tom Raider” or “Thief”), an upgraded remaster of a previous game or a remake of an existing title made from scratch.
After the release of “Defiance,” Square Enix tried to revive “Legacy of Kain” in several ways, without any success. Among the milestones of this failure were the efforts of the British company Climax Studios (“Silent Hill: Origins,” “Silent Hill: Shattered Memories)”, which spent three years working on “Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun,” a sort of reboot that is set hundreds of years after “Soul Reaver” – a game canceled in 2012.
There was also “Nosgoth,” developed by Psyonix – a studio best known for “Rocket League.” This is a multiplayer game set in the universe of the franchise, but very different from “Soul Reaver” or “Blood Omen.” Despite being announced with much hype in 2013, “Nosgoth” was never officially released. However, the open beta began in January 2015. The game officially closed its servers on May 31, 2016.
There were many other projects that were left in limbo. And we still don’t have anything new from “Legacy of Kain.”
However, it’s better to look at the silver lining: according to survey data, the saga has a very active fanbase. How many enjoy this privilege after almost 2 decades? In an industry where there are success stories like the “Resident Evil” remakes, there is plenty of room for comebacks.