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Sony Sells Square Enix Stock

April 16th, 2014 by Tony Garsow

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Sony has sold its shares (an 8.58% stake) in Square Enix to SMBC Nikko Securities we learn today. The company originally bought up nearly a fifth (11.2 million) of Squaresoft’s shares over a decade ago post-Final Fantasy movie The Spirits Within‘s critical and financial failure. Sony’s investment in Squaresoft then was likely due to their faith in the company’s recovery, as well as paving a road for a mutual relationship when it came to console releases in the future.

It wasn’t long after that Squaresoft and Enix merged, and Sony’s stake in the new Square Enix was reduced under 9%. Were Sony to purchase additional shares, it would have been at a much higher price, and so they resigned to keep what they had. Fast forward to today when Sony, despite relative success in the realm of video games, is struggling elsewhere — a loss of 1.1 billion yen US dollars for the fiscal year ending in March. Sony is estimated to take home about 4.8 billion yen from the sale of Square Enix shares, supplementing its cash on hand.

What does all this mean for Final Fantasy? In all likelihood, remarkably little. It’s fair to say that Sony may be unsteady about Square Enix’s recovery after what the company deemed as critical losses due to “under-performing” titles, but as far as future projects go, we at Final Fantasy Network aren’t inclined to believe that Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts III will suddenly ditch the PlayStation platform due to Sony wanting some extra cash on hand in tough times.

The particulars of the sale of Sony’s stake to SMBC Nikko will be made public in Square Enix’s yearly fiscal report.

Figures: The Wall Street Journal

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  • Considering both XIII and XV have gone dual-platform and Square Enix have been sharing all other major titles with other consoles, I don’t see the reason why Sony should hold to these share, especially at such a financially unstable time for the company. Though the PS4 may be selling well enough, there have been a lot of layoffs at that particular firm mainly in the PC department. I just hope Microsoft doesn’t go and pick up these shares, which would shift all the products to the XBox. I don’t like the Xbox.

  • ಠ_ಠ

    Microsoft/Xbox has virtually no footing in Japan, as Xbox releases have mostly been for Western audiences. It’s almost inconceivable to see SE abandon Sony like that.

  • AnimaMagna

    I think this is a clear sign that Sony (not Square Enix) is struggling a little. It’s sold off two major office buildings, reduced staff, sold its PC decision in the last year, and is now selling stock in one of its main partners for the last ten+ years. And it’s not surprising looking at it. They’ve been pouring money into developing and marketing the PS4 and its games, going for broke it seems.

    And even then they haven’t even tried anything risky. As far as I’ve gathered, virtually all the console launch titles are popular IPs, online-focused and/or games from popular and trusted developers. They’ve been banking on certainties in order to generate sales. The only ones vaguely experimental are either last-gen or indies, or both.