Japan's Square Enix to Buy 'Tomb Raider' Maker
'Final Fantasy' firm pays dearly for Lara Croft
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2009 2:28 PM CST
This screen grab released by Eidos shows adventurer Lara Croft exploring an undersea ruin in "Tomb Raider Underworld."   (AP Photo/Eidos)
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(Newser) – Looks like Lara Croft has a new sugar daddy: Japan’s Square Enix will buy Eidos, maker of the “Tomb Raider” videogame franchise, for $119.9 million, Forbes reports. That's more than double the per-share price at yesterday's market close. With Square willing to pay such a premium, it is unlikely that Time Warner, which already owns 20% of Eidos, will present a counter offer.

Square Enix has successful franchises of its own, such as “Final Fantasy” and “Dragon Quest,” but those titles cater to the Japanese video game audience. The acquisition of Lara Croft should go far in making the firm’s image more accessible to a Western audience. The Japanese videogame market shrunk in 2008, while the British and US markets grew, which may explain why Square is willing to pay so dearly for Eidos.