‘Final Fantasy’ maker Square Enix denies sale reports

The video game maker behind the popular “Final Fantasy” and “Kingdom Hearts” franchises shot down reports that it’s up for sale on Friday after the chatter sent its stock price soaring.

Japanese gaming giant Square Enix tried to quash the rumors following a Bloomberg Japan report that said it had received interest from potential buyers.

CFTN, a specialty news outlet focused on mergers and acquisitions, first reported Thursday that Square Enix had been approached about a deal, citing two bankers who follow digital gaming transactions.

But the Tokyo-based firm issued a statement firmly denying the reports Friday even as the rumors caused its shares to surge 12 percent to 6,900 Japanese yen ($63.43).

“We do not consider selling off the company or any part of its businesses, nor have we received any offer from any third party to acquire the company or any part of its businesses,” Square Enix said.


Despite the denial, Square Enix’s Tokyo-listed stock jumped as high as 7,100 yen Friday, not far below the peak of 7,460 yen ($68.58) that it reached last September.

People dress as anime characters of the video game "Final Fantasy" during  a cosplay event in Bangalore.
People dress as anime characters of the video game “Final Fantasy” during a cosplay event in Bangalore.
AFP via Getty Images

With a market value of more than $800 billion, Square Enix is responsible for some of the world’s most popular video game titles, including the “Tomb Raider” and “Dragon Quest” series along with “Final Fantasy” and the Disney-themed “Kingdom Hearts.”

The sale rumors followed a banner year for the industry that saw interest in gaming increase amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There were also some major tie-ups in the sector last year, Bloomberg News noted, including Microsoft’s $7.5 billion takeover of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of “Elder Scrolls” and “Fallout” publisher Bethesda Softworks.

Gaming industry deals “will remain robust after record deal volume — both number of deals and dollar value — in 2020, with multiple game makers having cash-rich balance sheets, but they will probably target smaller, private developers as opposed to large listed ones,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman told the outlet.