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Square Enix made a strategic investment in Paris-based cloud gaming platform firm Blacknut.

The investment will support ongoing research and development for Blacknut to target the business-to-business cloud gaming market.

The deal comes shortly after Square Enix sold off most of its Western game studios for $300 million.

Blacknut’s portfolio has surpassed 500 games from a host of well-known publishers. According to research by Newzoo, cloud gaming generated more than $2 billion from 24 million subscribers in 2021.

“We are very proud to welcome Square Enix, a company that’s genre defining franchises continue to win over generations of gamers. It’s decision to invest in Blacknut is a real endorsement of our vision, technology and market approach.” said Olivier Avaro, CEO at Blacknut, in a statement. “Square Enix understands the potential of cloud gaming, as players continue to transition away from physical formats, finding new ways to deliver disruptive gaming experiences from the cloud.”

Blacknut said it has built partnerships with publishers through its mutually beneficial ecosystem, and those will be reinforced by the Square Enix investment in Blacknut.

“Blacknut is a company at the forefront of cloud gaming, with a unique combination of technical expertise and a vision for the future of gaming,” said Hideaki Uehara, director of business development at Square Enix, in a statemen. “We are excited by the potential of cloud gaming and this partnership will allow us to stay on top of new developments in the space, as well as expedite our future growth.”

With most households owning multiple connected devices, Blacknut’s game catalog is available as a click-to-play experience across all internet-connected screens. The service is available on computers, mobiles, smart TVs and set-top boxes, or directly through Webapp on Chrome and Safari.

The service is live in 45 countries spanning Europe, North America, South Asia and most recently expanding into Latin America and the Middle East.

Over the course of the last fours years Blacknut has experienced exponential growth thanks to major B2B partnerships with ISPs, device manufacturers, OTT services and media companies, including Telecom Italia, AIS in Thailand, Hutchison Drei in Austria, POST Telecom in Luxembourg, Telecall in Brazil, or the latest launch for Celcom in Malaysia, and M1 in Singapore.

Avaro started Blacknut in 2016 and the company is based in Rennes, France.

The Square Enix Group also boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property including Final Fantasy, which has sold over 168 million units worldwide; Dragon Quest, which has sold over 84 million units worldwide; Tomb Raider, which has sold over 88 million units worldwide; and the legendary Space Invaders.

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