Square Enix is reportedly an acquisition target for several suitors.
The Japanese Final Fantasy publisher has received recent merger and acquisition interest from multiple parties, two bankers said to be following gaming deals told finance publication CTFN (via Bloomberg Japan).
It’s unclear if the interest in Square Enix is limited to its gaming business, which accounted for 72 percent of total sales in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, or the whole company.
UPDATE: Square Enix has released a statement claiming that it has not received any acquisition offers and is not considering selling any of the business.
“Bloomberg has reported today that there is interest from several buyers to acquire Square Enix. However, this report is not based on any announcement by SQUARE ENIX HOLDINGS CO., LTD,” it said.
“We do not consider selling off the company or any part of its businesses, nor have we received any offer from any third party to acquire the company or any part of its businesses.”
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: While the interested parties weren’t named, on several occasions in 2019 Xbox head Phil Spencer expressed a desire to acquire an Asian game developer, “in particular a Japanese studio”.
This year, Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media brought a number of new developers into the Xbox Game Studios family, including Japan-based Ghostwire Tokyo and The Evil Within creator Tango Gameworks.
Spencer subsequently called the acquisition of Tango, which was founded by Shinji Mikami, the acclaimed creator behind Resident Evil, “a great step” towards achieving Xbox’s ambitions in Japan.
The jewel at the centre of the ZeniMax acquisition was western RPG powerhouse Bethesda.
Square Enix is best known for its RPG series too, with its flagship Final Fantasy franchise long synonymous with PlayStation platforms.
The most recent series release, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, is currently exclusively available on PlayStation consoles. The upcoming Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade and Final Fantasy 16 are also currently billed as PS5 exclusives.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has a timed exclusivity arrangement in place for Square Enix’s Forspoken too. It will be released for PS5 and PC in 2022 and will reportedly be a PlayStation console exclusive for two years.
Square Enix launched a new series of digital events in March with an online showcase featuring many of its upcoming products.
Among other announcements, the first Square Enix Presents event was used to reveal Tomb Raider: Definitive Survivor Trilogy, Life is Strange Remastered Collection, Life is Strange: True Colors and an updated Marvel’s Avengers 2021 content roadmap.