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Microsoft Wanted to Acquire Final Fantasy Publisher Square Enix

Microsoft continues its uphill battle to acquire Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard as the court case with the US Federal Trade Commission is still ongoing. Previous documents revealed that Microsoft considered buying Destiny studio Bungie and Sega, among others, but new information has surfaced from the trial that adds yet another potential acquisition that was on the company’s radar: Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix.

Recently published documents reveal that back in 2019, before Microsoft set its eyes on Activision Blizzard, the company wanted to acquire Square Enix and its various Western studios including Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics (which were later sold to Embracer Group). The potential bid was internally referred to as “Project Phoenix”, which was an effort to expand Xbox’s influence in Asian markets and grow its Japanese studios.

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If the acquisition had actually gone through, Microsoft would’ve owned the rights to several Square Enix IPs at the time including Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest, Tomb Raider and most importantly, the Final Fantasy franchise. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the acquisition didn’t move forward beyond Microsoft simply expressing its desires to purchase the massive Japanese publisher.

If Xbox had successfully purchased Square Enix, it would’ve raised a lot of questions and concerns. Square Enix titles are seemingly bigger successes on PlayStation platforms due to Sony’s consoles being one of the leaders in Japan. If Microsoft had made future titles from the publisher exclusive to Xbox, it would’ve been interesting to see if Xbox consoles would’ve sold more and had a greater impact in Asian territories. As of writing, Xbox’s influence in the Asian market is rather small compared to PlayStation and Nintendo.

In related news, if you’re new to the Final Fantasy series, read up our guide on some of the best games in the series to start with as a newcomer here.

Source: Video Games Chronicle

Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Hub, writer at GLITCHED. Former writer at The Gaming Report and All Otaku Online. RPG addict that has wonderful nightmares of Bloodborne 2.

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