Eidos Montreal’s founder hints Sony may be looking to swoop in and purchase Square Enix, or at least one of its developers.
The last few years have seen Microsoft and Sony take major steps in expanding their respective rosters of in-house developers, with Microsoft in making waves with the acquisitions of Bethesda and Activision Blizzard. Sony has not been as aggressive, given the roster of studios already under its umbrella such as Sucker Punch and Insomniac, but hasn’t been shy about adding to it either as the recent purchase of Bungie shows. Sony may not be done, as the founder of Eidos Montreal indicates Sony may have its eyes on Square Enix, or at least one of its central studios in Japan.
Eidos Montreal founder Stephane D’Astous touched on this possibility during an interview with GamesIndustry.biz where he spoke on the possibility of a Sony purchase, along with the general state of Square Enix and recent sale of Eidos Montreal. He said the sales of Eidos Montreal, Square Enix Montreal, and Crystal Dynamics to Swedish company Embracer Group was due, in part, to mounting pressures from Japan on its foreign developers to produce better results commercially. He described the situation as a “train that is slowing down” and in need of a fresh “injection of cash.”
Regarding Sony, D’Astous said he was aware of rumors it was interested in bringing Square Enix into the fold in the wake of Square selling three of its biggest Western developers to Embracer Group. However, D’Astous says the caveat to this is Sony’s interest may only be in acquiring the Square Enix Tokyo studio rather than the larger company. “I heard rumors that Sony said they’re really interested in Square Enix Tokyo, but not the rest,” D’Astous told GamesIndustry. “So, I think [Square Enix CEO Yosuke] Matsuda-san put it like a garage sale.”
When players take a look at the list of titles the Square Enix Tokyo team has worked on, it becomes clear why Sony would have a keen interest in trying to purchase this studio. The team’s most notable credits include multiple entries in the Kingdom Hearts series, namely the mainline three mainline series games. However, it is not known if the team is also working on the recently announced Kingdom Hearts 4.
That said, the team’s pedigree would fit right in with Sony’s studio roster which is regarded among critics and players as delivering some of the best triple-A single-player titles in recent memory. The one point working against the Tokyo team, though, is they have shared the development load with multiple teams rather than heading up a major game’s development on their own. It then begs the question of if acquired, would the Tokyo team be expanded to lead a major title’s development or continue being a support team for games such as God of War: Ragnarok or Marvel’s Spider-Man 2?