A spate of recent game studio acquisitions has left many guessing who will be next. Well, it probably won't be Square Enix. The Japanese studio has rebuffed reports claiming it was being circled by multiple potential buyers. In a statement released today, Square Enix flatly denied that it was mulling a sale or had been approached by interested parties.
"We do not consider selling off the company or any part of its businesses, nor have we received any offer from any third party to acquire the company or any part of its businesses," the company said.
It seems the rumor originated from CTFN — a subscription news site that specializes in mergers and acquisitions reporting — which cited two bankers, and was repeated by Bloomberg Japan. Industry analyst David Gibson said it may have been a case of bankers attempting to boost Square Enix's business after Marvel’s Avengers posted weak sales. Tokyo-based consultant Dr. Serkan Toto said the rumors caused the company's stock to jump by almost 14 percent.
At the same time, consolidation has been rife in the gaming industry as major players look to boost their digital stores and burgeoning subscription services with exclusive titles. Recent deals include Microsoft's $7.5 billion takeover of Bethesda owner ZeniMax, EA's acquisition of Codemasters and Epic Games' purchase of Tonic Games Group (parent of Fall Guys studio Mediatonic).
Though Square Enix was quick to rubbish takeover talk, it's easy to see why it would be an attractive target. The company's properties include enduring franchises, like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, and newer titles such as Outriders. But, it's also tied down to existing licensing agreements for its upcoming games including Forspoken for PS5 and PC.