Square Enix has been a key pillar in the games industry for decades now with huge historical gaming franchises under its belt. A major change could be coming though, as sources claim that “multiple parties” are exploring an acquisition of the publisher.
According to Bloomberg Japan in a report citing “bankers familiar with the matter”, multiple parties have shown interest in acquiring Square Enix recently. As you would expect, Microsoft and Sony have been thrown in as potential suitors, although it is unclear if there are any active negotiations on-going and there is nothing here to say that Square Enix is actively looking to be acquired.
Square Enix currently has a market cap of $6.88 billion, so a full acquisition would cost a lot of money, likely more than the $7.5 billion Microsoft spent last year to acquire Zenimax/Bethesda. It has long been rumoured that Microsoft is looking to bolster its first-party line-up with Japanese studios, but Japan's business laws make an international acquisition somewhat difficult, but not impossible. As a Japanese-based company, Sony would likely have an edge here if serious acquisition talks did arise.
Square Enix is responsible for legendary franchises including Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and more. As a publicly traded company, any acquisition would require approval from the board of directors and shareholders.
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KitGuru Says: Obviously, Square Enix would be a huge acquisition for any major gaming platform holder or publisher but details are currently thin. While some parties may be exploring the possibility of acquiring Square Enix internally, there is nothing to say that active talks are taking place with the company.