Earlier this morning, Bloomberg’s Japan office published reports that masterminds of the Final Fantasy universe was up for sale. More than that, that it had already been courted by several interested parties and a sale of the Japanese publisher was imminent. But in an unusual move from Square, it’s holding company, Square Enix Holdings Co. issued a statement on twitter categorically denying that any such conversations were happening. It seems the company is not for sale, after all. The statement reads;
“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. 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.”
You can see the stastement, in full in the tweet below;
Video games industry consultant Dr. Serkan Toto noted on Twitter that Square Enix stock had soared this morning after the report, up by nearly 14 per cent. Yesterday the stock averaged at around £41, and at time of writing today that’s risen to £46, and by all accounts it’s holding firm. The stock market clearly doesn’t believe in smoke without fire, it seems.
Industry analyst David Gibson added,
“For what it’s worth…I think it’s bankers trying to drum up business, stock being under pressure because of [the] failure of Avengers. No doubt it has great IP but already has commercial agreements with Sony and Tencent…”
Squaring the Circle
But beside the ill-fated Avengers flop, Square Enx is not what you would call a one trick pony. Final Fantasy XV has shipped over 8.9m units worldwide, making it the third bestselling game in the series to date. And the recently released The remake of Final Fantasy VII had shipped over 5 million copies by August last year, just four months after release.
Square also has a number of titles currently in development. This includes some pretty high-profile projects, including the next Final Fantasy of course, and Forspoken. Of the latter, exclusivity deals are already in place with Playstation. While this doesn’t rule out an acquisition (it certainly didn’t matter to Microsoft and Bethesda) it certainly doesn’t paint a picture of a company in trouble. And with the rebuke in full force from Square HQ, it seems that once again Bloomberg’ sources have missed the mark.
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020