Square Enix Was Nearly Acquired by Microsoft

During its hearing with the FTC, it was recently revealed that Microsoft has plans on acquiring Square Enix.

By DShelley, Posted 30 Jun 2023

Thanks to the ongoing hearing that Microsoft is having with the United States Federal Trade Commission, we have learned plenty about the company's business dealings. One of the many exciting things that were revealed was that Microsoft had made plans to acquire Square Enix in a bid to bolster its Xbox business.

For those of you who are out of the loop, Microsoft has revealed that they intended to buy Activision Blizzard, roughly a year ago. Things have been far from smooth sailing and the company has sadly not made much progress, mostly due to the ever-increasing pressure from global regulatory authorities. In order for the acquisition to go through, Microsoft will have to win over these organizations, namely the EU, UK’s CMA, and of course, the US’s FTC. So far Microsoft has had success, as the acquisition was approved by the EU, however, they will have to meet certain conditions. This time Microsoft is being investigated by the FTC and a preliminary hearing is currently underway.

Microsoft, Square Enix, acquisition, Leak, FTC, Latest, News, NoobFeed

To say that there is a lot riding on this preliminary hearing is definitely an understatement as both Microsoft and various other members of the gaming industry will have to testify during the hearing. However, this hearing has revealed several juicy secrets, not just about Microsoft but also about several others in the gaming industry, including those acquired by Microsoft themselves.

One of the juiciest of these previously untold secrets was that Microsoft had been interested in acquiring Square Enix, the Japanese gaming giant behind the Final Fantasy series. This was reported by Axios Gaming’s Stephen Totilo, according to the report, considerations for the acquisition were made back in 2019. However, there does seem to be no further information on whether or not the two companies had planned discussions or if Microsoft had even prepared a proposal.

Screenshots shared on Twitter by Stephen Totilo, show that Phil Spencer, the current boss of Xbox, had provided feedback on the proposal which mentioned how continuing to keep “recently announced and released games” on their announced platforms would boost Xbox’s own first-party revenue. According to screenshots, it also showed that there were also plans to have Square Enix titles also release Day One on Xbox Game Pass alongside their regular release.

It would also appear that Square Enix wasn't the only developer that Microsoft had their sights on. In documents that were previously shared in prior hearing sessions, it was revealed that Microsoft had interest in acquiring both Bungie and Sega. Probably one of the most interesting developments to come out of the hearing was that, despite being acquired by Microsoft, Bethesda was concerned if Microsoft intended to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Which has been the biggest concern of many including PlayStation boss, Jim Ryan.

Daman Shelley (@UndeadandTired)
Editor, NoobFeed

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