The recent trend of billion-dollar video game company acquisitions doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. With that in mind, Sony is supposedly gearing up to purchase Square Enix, the publisher behind the acclaimed Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts series. This would be yet another groundbreaking sale, especially after Embracer Group’s recent purchase of all Square Enix’s North American studios and IP. Sony buying Square Enix—Dr. Serkan Toto, CEO of Kantan Games tells Inverse—isn’t as outlandish as you might think, and could be revealed as early as this week.
As part of an episode of PS I Love You XOXO, Kinda Funny CEO Greg Miller said he’d heard “from multiple different sources,” that Sony was supposedly in talks to purchase Square Enix. It’s still unclear if this will turn out to be true, but Dr. Toto thinks it’s possible.
On Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at 2 a.m. Eastern, Sony will release its financial results for the past fiscal year, which could be the perfect time to reveal the acquisition of Square Enix. Dr. Toto believes that if Sony is, indeed, going to buy Square, the announcement will happen alongside the publication of the company’s financial results this week.
Though Dr. Toto admittedly acknowledges there isn’t much of a need for Square Enix to sell to Sony, the deal certainly isn’t out of the question.
“Square Enix has no reason to sell itself at the moment, as the company has been profitable for years and years now and sits on well over $1 billion cash on hand,” Dr. Toto tells Inverse, citing games like Final Fantasy XIV as major contributors to the company’s success.
This is despite recent releases such as Marvel’s Avengers and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, both of which failed to meet financial expectations for Square Enix. Though, now that the publisher has sold the developer of those games, Crystal Dynamics, to Embracer Group, Square Enix can recoup some of the costs.
Sony acquiring Square Enix would certainly make a lot of sense, especially given that both companies are based in Japan. “On paper, Square Enix is looking like a great fit for Sony, which could use its home-field advantage as a Japanese company in possible M&A (mergers and acquisitions) negotiations,” Dr. Toto says.
That isn’t to say acquisitions over international waters aren’t possible, but being based in the same country requires fewer hoops to jump through. Plus, Sony and Square Enix have a rich history with one another, dating back to the 1990s with games like Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation.
Dr. Toto adds, “The market for M&A in gaming is crazy right now, so I would not rule out a deal at all — especially if Sony is ready to pay a handsome premium for Square Enix stockholders." We’ve seen Sony make large purchases like these before—most recently with the acquisition of Bungie, a deal valued at $3.6 billion. So, although Square might not necessarily need to sell right now, Sony could make an offer too good to refuse.
Given just how wild recent gaming acquisitions have been—most notably Microsoft’s $68.7 billion purchase of Activision—Sony acquiring Square Enix doesn’t seem so strange after all, and would be an excellent way to acquire more exclusive games for PlayStation platforms.