A confidential document from Microsoft reveals that the firm was thinking in 2019 of buying the Japanese publisher Square Enix. We also learn that the firm would like to launch an Xbox Game Pass on smartphones.
The lawsuit between the FTC and Microsoft continues to deliver its share of revelations. We were able to discover Microsoft’s strategy for the future of Windows, or new elements on the PS6 and the development of the game IndianaJones. We recently learned that Microsoft had thought long and hard in 2021 about many studio takeovers: Crytek, Bungie, Sega or even IO Interactive.
Another editor has the right to his own confidential document. Dated November 2019, it reveals an in-depth study by Microsoft to buy the Japanese Square Enix.
Tackle the mobile market
Why did Microsoft consider buying Square Enix? The publisher known for franchises Final Fantasy, DragonQuest, Kingdom Heartsbut also at that time Tomb Raider (the franchise and Western studios have since been sold to Embracer).
Obviously, Microsoft hopes that such a takeover could help it for the launch of the Xbox Series in 2020, a year later, but above all, the firm wants to find a place in the mobile gaming market.
According to the document, a takeover of Square Enix would allow Microsoft to better tackle the video game market in Asia and on smartphones. Being based in Japan, Square Enix has been able to create a very large audience in these two markets. Microsoft notes that nearly a third of Square Enix’s fiscal 2019 revenue came from mobile.
Most interesting comes when the document describes how Square Enix would be absorbed into Microsoft’s strategy. We discover the idea of launching a “native mobile” version of the Xbox Game Pass thanks to Square Enix games. In other words, access to a catalog of mobile games on your smartphone for a monthly price. Unlike the vast majority of the mobile offer, Square Enix games available on smartphones are often paid for. This is the case, for example, of the Pixel Remasters of the Final Fantasy series. A mobile version of the Xbox Game Pass would provide access to these games.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate provides access to premium content in free to play games on PC and Xbox. With this takeover, Microsoft also imagines integrating paid options available in mobile games.
Game sales would be down with a buyout
Regarding the trial, this document should reveal the strategy that Microsoft is thinking internally to find out whether or not the firm would like to make exclusivity for its platforms. In this case, the document establishes that Square Enix’s games would remain cross-platform in the event of a takeover, but with an arrival from launch in the Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft admits that such a strategy has direct repercussions on the sale of games. Square Enix’s revenues would therefore be down in the event of a takeover by Microsoft.
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