Square Enix has had deep ties to Sony’s PlayStation consoles for some time. That’s especially true of its Final Fantasy series of games, many of which have debuted as PlayStation-exclusive games, including the most recent entry, Final Fantasy XVI.
However, there was a time that Microsoft considered acquiring Square Enix. That’s according to internal company documents that were revealed as part of Microsoft’s ongoing court battle with the US Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is trying to stop Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard.
According to The Verge, Microsoft had several reasons it suggested buying Square Enix was a good idea. One big and obvious one is that the publisher already had a large library of game titles that spanned decades, which included the Final Fantasy main series and all of its spin-off titles.
Another reason is that Microsoft felt buying Square Enix would be a big step forward in gaining more ground in the Japanese and Asian video console game market. Microsoft has been trying with little success in selling Xbox consoles in that part of the world, despite getting some console-exclusive games made by Japanese developers.
Finally, Microsoft stated that the purchase of Square Enix could help with entering the mobile games space. The internal document said:
Combining Square Enix’s robust mobile-native portfolio with our own could potentially help us create a mobile-native Xbox Game Pass SKU.
It’s unknown how much time and work Microsoft put into this kind of deal before it decided to try to buy Activision Blizzard.
Microsoft has already stated it wanted to buy Activision Blizzard mainly for its mobile gaming division King, the home of the Candy Crush titles. It also thought seriously about buying a mobile-only game publisher, Zynga, at one time.
In a recent interview, Microsoft Xbox head Phil Spencer stated the company wants to create a mobile games store that would be a “credible third-party alternative” to Google and Apple’s app stores, although he also admitted, “we’re a long way from there today.”