CTFN reported that two bankers had indicated that several potential buyers were interested in purchasing the developer/publisher behind Final Fantasy and Outriders. Bloomberg Japan then reported the news, which led Square Enix to respond.
“Bloomberg has reported today that there is interest from several buyers to acquire Square Enix,” reads a press release. “However, this report is not based on any announcement by Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. 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.”It is of course possible that both sides of this story are true – there may well be parties interested in Square Enix, and Square Enix itself might be unwilling to sell to them. That said, analyst David Gibson pointed to the idea that this could be bankers trying to “drum up business” in Square Enix.
To back up Gibson’s idea, Bloomberg subsequently reported that shares in Square Enix rose by 12% after the report went out – their highest rise in eight months.
Video game acquisitions have been big business recently, with the last year alone seeing Microsoft buying ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion, Epic Games buying Mediatonic (Fall Guys), and EA snapping up Codemasters after Take-Two showed an interest.
Japan has been seen as a natural next step for some major gaming companies, with Head of Xbox Phil Spencer recently shooting down the idea that Microsoft was in contact with a number of developers in the country about potential acquisitions. On the other hand, Sony has had to counter the idea that the company is sidelining Japan, but we’ve seen the company’s storied Japan Studio re-organised this year, leading to a mass exodus of developers.