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Sony’s Big Rumored Acquisition Was Square Enix, Says Grubb

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Consolidation in the games industry is at an all-time high with deals like Microsoft trying to acquire Activision Blizzard, Sony getting Bungie, Take-Two grabbing Zynga, and most recently, Embracer Group acquiring Square Enix's internal Western studios (Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, Square Enix Montréal).

The wave of consolidation is also far from over, according to those same corporations. In early April, following the announcement of the PlayStation Plus revamp, Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan confirmed the Japanese company has plans to acquire more game development studios.

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The critical success and the commercial success of the first-party games that we've been making has given us permission to invest heavily into content creation. We're growing our studios organically and we're growing through acquisition. We acquired five studios during the course of 2021. We're in discussions with Bungie. And we have more plans.

That same week, we also heard from journalists Jeff Grubb and Greg Miller that Sony might have been preparing for a big acquisition rather than a smaller one like those of Jade Raymond's Haven Studios or PC porting team Nixxes.

Following yesterday's news of Square Enix selling off its internal Western studios, Grubb has now come forward to reveal that the rumored big acquisition was precisely about Sony acquiring Square Enix. Of course, he also stressed that such rumors are always tenuous at best due to the risky nature of revealing these massive deals beforehand. Additionally, there's always the chance of deals falling through at the last minute.

Still, a leaner Square Enix might be even more appealing to Sony if it really already planned to acquire it. The Japanese company already regularly invests in timed exclusive deals with PlayStation, such as those for Final Fantasy VII Remake and Forspoken, so it would make sense to seal those forever. Then again, even if Sony ends up acquiring Square Enix, it doesn't mean it would make all of its games exclusive to PlayStation platforms; Sony is investing more into the PC market, for one thing, and they've also agreed to keep present and future Bungie games multiplatform.

Today, Square Enix is trading at +2.27%. Its market cap is $4.864 billion, which is more than manageable for Sony's remaining $10 billion cash reserve for acquisitions. It would be a U-turn of sorts for Sony, anyway, as the company once owned an 18.6% stake in Square Enix before slowly selling all the shares off by April 2014.

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