Square Enix is among the oldest and most popular Japanese developers in the industry. The gaming giant has recently released Final Fantasy 16 as a timed exclusive for the PS5. However, the game could have been exclusive to PlayStation’s rival platform.
Following the recent case between Microsoft and the FTC, internal documents have revealed Xbox was looking to buy Square Enix in 2019.
Why it Matters: Microsoft has become well-known for several gaming acquisitions. This includes companies like Ninja Theory. The gaming giant has also expressed interest in Japanese companies before.
Xbox was also eyeing other Japanese developers. This includes Sega, but Square Enix was on Microsoft’s list before Sega.
Microsoft was interested in buying Square Enix as it would help them bring Final Fantasy and other Square Enix titles to Xbox’s first-party library. The gaming giant could also add them to Xbox Game Pass.
Recently, Final Fantasy 16 sold over 3 million copies in less than a week. The game launched exclusively on PS5 but still performed well. As such, Microsoft was hoping to use the IP’s appeal for Game Pass.
Microsoft also noted that Square Enix has a massive presence in the mobile industry. However, things did not work out for Microsoft, and Square Enix ended up selling its Western branch to Embracer Group last year.
Following these plans, Microsoft purchased ZeniMax Media in 2020, adding titles like Starfield to Xbox’s first-party library.
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