The end of total independence for the publisher with prestigious franchises such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest or Nier? Square Enix is reportedly looking to sell out and PlayStation could be a contender.
It’s not just Ubisoft looking for a way out. The Japanese publisher Square Enix is making every effort to bring other companies into the capital of its studios. PlayStation could be one of the first interested customers or even the only one?
Diversify studio ownership
Selling the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex licenses, among others, and the associated studios was just the first step in a much bigger plan. Now, Square Enix is starting phase 2 (it feels like the MCU), namely diversifying the shareholding of some of its studios, especially in Europe and North America. That’s according to analyst David Gibson (via VGC) after learning about the latest meeting between the Japanese publisher and its investors.
From what has been said, due to the increasing cost of producing games and studios 100% owned by Square Enix, the publisher has to “to be selective in focusing his resources, which limits any expansion”. Thus, by allowing other investors to own shares in its European and American studios, the house of Final Fantasy could focus mainly on its Japanese titles.
An approach that surprises Gibson because according to him, Square Enix has the kidneys strong enough to stay in its current configuration. Projected game production costs would be $840 million, and after the sale of Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, the publisher would have $1.4 billion in cash, debt-free, more than enough to cover their expenses without selling shares.
Square Enix in PlayStation’s sights?
In potential buyers, David Gibson cites Sony first, followed by other fish like Tencent or Nexon. PlayStation is a name that comes up very regularly, but each time there was talk of a total takeover of the Japanese branch. Moreover, very recently, the Japanese manufacturer has recruited an expert in mergers and acquisitions.
To see if discussions between PlayStation and Square Enix will succeed, and above all, how far? A significant participation to let Square manage its business independently, a complete or partial takeover (of the Japanese branch)? All these movements of the editor may be a clue… or not! Verdict in the coming months.