There’s a lot going on with Square Enix as of late, but those who expected the company to settle down now that it sold off its biggest western studios might be in for a surprise. While it’s plain as day that there are major restructurings taking place behind closed doors at the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts publisher, the actual state of things may be even more exciting.
Jeff Grubb recently spoke on Twitter about the current state of Square Enix and what it could mean for the company in the grand scheme of things. The idea that’s currently being thrown around is that Square Enix is preparing itself for a major acquisition, and while Grubb doesn’t seem to have any concrete information to confirm or deny that, he apparently believes this to be the case.
According to Grubb, the idea that Square Enix is looking to get acquired by a bigger company isn’t actually based on insider knowledge, as none of his usual sources want to comment on the matter due to the very real possibility of legal consequences if they’re uncovered as a leak. Instead, Grubb’s take on the recent Embracer acquisition of Square Enix developers is that the publisher wanted to shed IPs and studios and streamline its holdings. Others have suggested that Square Enix selling off its western studios is to avoid potential FTC antitrust problems for whoever acquires the company.
Of course, though Grubb does outright state that he believes Square Enix has an acquisition in mind already, the company may simply be reinventing itself in a way that makes sense to the higher-ups. Square Enix’s president expressed interest in NFTs, for example, and the publisher may have believed that properties such as Tomb Raider and Deus Ex simply had no growth potential in that direction.
Now that Kingdom Hearts 4 got story and gameplay reveals, in particular, Square Enix may believe its future lies with JRPGs and JRPG-adjacent titles such as Forspoken. Combining such AAA franchises with lightweight NFT-oriented productions could very well lead to huge investment opportunities for Square Enix in the future, depending on where the industry goes next, and this could make them an appealing acquisition opportunity for sure.
Finally, it’s also worth pointing out that some believe that the big upcoming Sony PlayStation acquisition is, in fact, that of Square Enix. Grubb himself references this, though he also warned people not to put too much weight behind it, as it hasn’t been confirmed anywhere that Square Enix really is positioning itself to get acquired by a bigger company. It very well could just be in the process of shedding IPs and developers, and the rest is just speculation.