Sony Sells Off All Of Its Shares In Square Enix

By Sato . April 16, 2014 . 2:55am

square-enix-logo

Things aren’t looking too great for Square Enix, as this morning, Sony Corporation made the surprising announcement that they will be selling all of their shares they have of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. in the upcoming days.

 

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of Sony, have come to an agreement with SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., one of Japan’s three largest brokerage firms, for the transfer of 9,520,000 shares they had in Square Enix.

 

This transfer is expected to amount up to a total of about 4.8 billion yen (roughly $47 million) of additional profits for Sony’s first quarter of 2014. The full transfer value will be officially announced on April 17th, 2014.


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  • Go2hell66

    They really should have waited for FFXV to come out first

    • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

      Eight years and still no release date. They waited long enough

      • http://uglylarvas.tumbrl.com/ Kanimir

        Not even a lot of informations, just almost-the-same trailer showed over and over again.

      • https://www.youtube.com/user/narutops2xbox/videos Black Koshinomi

        nice response !

      • OathkeeperSoraXIII

        I’m with this. After 8 years and losing exclusiveness to it. There’s really no reason for Sony to keep their shares in SE since it’s not ‘noticeably’ helping them.

  • http://criticalhits.com.br/ Eric Arraché Gonçalves

    “Things aren’t looking too great for Square Enix” or maybe they are just in need of cash flow. Square Enix hasn’t had really bad months in a while now, though Thief probably didn’t do them any good.

  • NorthernPatches

    It could be Sony is the one with issue and they really need the cash prehaps?

    • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

      More of both.

      • John Diamond

        well, i doubt it’s just one party, considering sony’s money troubles. i swear square have been doing better with releases like bravely default and FFXIV financially

        • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

          I wouldn’t exactly call two games doing better, especially considering they went through great lengths just to fix FFXIV

          • John Diamond

            perhaps i’m wrong, but i heard that ffxiv was making a profit after all the time and money lost on the original product

        • http://uglylarvas.tumbrl.com/ Kanimir

          Did BD sell that good? I don’t think so. It is an awesome game, but it sold like what, 800 000 copies worldwide? Not saying it’s bad, not at all, but I don’t think it helped SE that much.

          • Herok♞

            I recall Bravely Default selling about as well LR at least in the US, so I would say they made a decent bit off it

          • Josh A. Stevens

            Bravely Default’s sales in Europe have been adequate (not great but not bad), but it’s real success has been in North America.

          • Astralwyrm

            Cost them far less to make as well i would imagine.

          • Qunton C.

            You cant measure the success of all games by the same criteria as success in games is incredibly relative. Atlus said Catherine selling 200,000 copies was their most successful launch at the time. 200,000 copies on launch for the latest Cal of Duty would be terrible numbers. Not every game that sells less than a million is a failure and not every game that sells a million is a success.

          • Satori Satya

            I guess you don’t read Siliconera much, but try reading the story with this headline:

            “Bravely Default’s Success In The West Is Making Square Enix Rethink Their JRPGs”

            S-E was surprised at how well it sold in the West. And like others have mentioned, it cost a fraction of what Lightning Returns did and yet it outsold it in the US.

            So yeah, Bravely Default was a success anyway you look at it.

          • http://uglylarvas.tumbrl.com/ Kanimir

            It is a success, but one or two games wont solve financial problems of the company as big as SE, even if it would sell 3mln copies and that’s what we are talking about, not about wheather BD was a success or not.

    • David García Abril

      Actually, this is way more likely.

      Sure, Square Enix had some profit problems last year, but they seem to be better now. “Tomb Raider” ended up being profitable and they seem to have recovered from the FF XIV debacle.

      On the other hand, Sony is desperate for cash. Sure, the video games division works fine, but overall the company is literally broke, and it belongs its creditors now.

      Speaking of which, I don’t know if most people are aware of that Sony in a sense is not a Japanese company anymore, since the vast majority of its creditors are Americans.

    • Nintendojitsu

      You are the only one in this comment section that has it right.

    • subsamuel01

      They obviously bought the shares in the first place because it was of some benefit to them. I guess they figured that financially holding those shares were not as beneficial as it was during the PS1 and PS2 era.

  • Göran Isacson

    Huh. As someone who isn’t that hep on the whole stock trading business, what does something like this usually mean? Like, I know from reports here and elsewhere that Sony aren’t doing superhot, even though PS4 is selling like hotcakes they are losing money in other branches. So them selling off large amounts of stock to recover from losses doesn’t sound THAT unreasonable to me, BUT: what does it mean that they’re selling SquareEnix stock specifically? For both Sony and SE: I imagine this could sour business relations between them? Or do Sony believe they have to get out while the getting is good?

    • Senka

      I’m with this guy. This sounds really bad and groundbreaking, but… what does it actually mean, if anything significant? Why did they even have shares in Square Enix in the first place? A gesture of good faith?

      Square is obviously still going to develop games for Sony consoles and handhelds. Sony couldn’t seriously have been scared they’d only release their games on non-Sony platforms. Square would just be shooting themselves in the foot.

      Also heh, funny to see this in related articles: http://www.siliconera.com/2011/07/12/sony-sends-square-enix-congratulatory-chocobo-cake/

      • Chim_era

        I remember Sony slashing their phone and laptop department in my country a month ago. While I agree this isn’t good news for Square Enix, I think the problem in this matter lies with Sony. I don’t really know how Square Enix is doing. Not great but not bad I think. Their game expectations are huge but while not all reach the benchmarks they do sell :p

      • Göran Isacson

        According to the other commenters here, it doesn’t look like this’ll change much in short term. Sony never seemed to have that much say in SE decisions, so they’re just releasing a lot of imaginary money they invested in SE and taking it back for themselves. The real change will probably not be seen until we see who BUYS the stock, and what they might want to do with SE… unless they end up having as much say in SE as Sony did, ie not much at all.

    • EinMugenTenshin

      In short it means Square Enix can no longer count on Sony for backing. This means they have less capital to invest for long term projects, and must go to the bank and lend it, where the bank (perhaps) demand more interests for this. Square Enix could in theory be a more successful company doing it this way, and is probably already investing in every project they believe can overcome this interest rate + risk/reward level. However their losses and risk are no longer shared with Sony, but at the same time the rewards are also not shared with Sony. Basically the company structure would be more risk more reward based.

      For us consumers it doesn’t mean anything short term. However, in the long term we might see fewer “big” innovation projects, as companies wouldn’t want to risk it on 2-3 releases that potentially could bankrupt the firm (that do, however, depend upon the leadership and how they evaluate things).

      At the same time other powerhouses might want to put some eggs into the basket and maybe get a hand on the wheel. That said Square Enix is milking their current franchises and it would be hard to (for example) bring Tomb Raider or Hitman to Nintendo, or make Final Fantasy Xbox exclusive, as the financial gains “expected” by those actions would most likely not overcome the losses by doing so (basically Microsoft/Nintendo would “buy out” the expected profit, in hopes of getting it back in console sales/other sales, which seems unlikely). At the same time you have independent gaming houses like EA who probably would look at this with great interest, and as a way to boost their ranks further, making the collective benefit from waving the same banner. Then again, as shown before, this might cause other considerations, for example some key personnel might quit after such a purchase as they see no benefits from cooperating through such establishments, thus losing much knowledge and know-how. These are complicated procedures, and a lot of considerations to make, most of which we would know little about. There could also be neutral parties investing, who believe SE will reach further success and simply “join in” in hopes of making money and not with the consideration of a larger gain.

      • AceRuby

        Pretty much this Sony doesn’t own a share in Square-Enix anymore so now they don’t have Sony to help fund any projects so this opens the door pretty much for any other company to do business with them. Could benefit someone like Nintendo I think the most now if anything as they’ve had relationships before and Nintendo has helped them a lot with DS and 3DS titles in the West (especially Dragon Quest).

        • 3PointDecoupage

          Your optimistic. Sounds more like its going to be fewer big games, more quick cash cell phone garbage.

          • AceRuby

            Yea I know lol they’ve released a ton of mobile lately but one can hope of course ;).

          • Nintendojitsu

            Squeenix isn’t the one having money problems. It’s Sony.

        • MisterHoot

          Shares aren’t really the same as financial support for X or X game. I’m guessin Sony still actually has business with Squeenix.

          Although overall, they will have slightly less influence. Although that amount of money is not that big when we consider huge companies like SE or Sony

    • Slickyslacker

      Think of it this way: even though EinMugenTenshin described it perfectly…

      Sony put a whole bunch of imaginary money, that SE couldn’t use themselves, into SE, which Sony were free to dole out at their own discretion. Now that the house is burning down for Sony, they’re just taking back all of their proverbial money bags.

      This is a smart move by Sony.

  • TempestTwin

    I really hope Nintendo will buy them. That would be epic. Sora/Neku/Cloud for Super Smash Bros!

    • GH56734

      The government stepped in to shut down the deal when Nintendo wanted to buy Bandai. I don’t know whether things will change, now that Nintendo is significantly weaker now (after they bought the shares earlier).
      Not even talking about how Nintendo is usually not too keen on buying back developers..

      • NintendoPSXTheSecond

        Well Nintendo did say they’re not looking towards Mergers and Acquisition’s so here’s hoping! :D

      • s07195

        What happened with Bandai?

    • David Vileta

      Would it be epic for the win?

    • EX+

      No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

      • TempestTwin

        Ok, then please tell me what square enix have been doing with these iconic characters lately? Sora has Kingdom hearts 3, neku last appeared in KH dream drop distance but apart from that nothing has happened.

        • EX+

          No. Just no.
          SE is making more use out of Sora than Nintendo is making out of Zelda. If they bought it, it would take a back seat to Mario the Milked Man. The Wii U is too weak to run KH3. The Wii U isn’t selling. The shares that Sony sold aren’t that large. They give no really control to the company that buys them. I didn’t even know Sony had a stake in SE and I doubt you did.

          • TempestTwin

            Um what? Just because you didn’t know a fact doesnt mean other people didn’t. You sound like a big sony fanboy who is caught up in his own world. I never said wii U should have KH 3? I just think they should add at least a square enix character in super smash bros, probably neku is the best choice since he only has appeared on nintendo consoles (not counting TWEWY solo remix).

            And how is SE making more use out of sora than nintendo is making out of zelda? Are you joking or just plain up blind and arrogant?

  • Ace Trainer Chris

    They probably got fed up with looking at sales for Dragon Quest games on the 3DS and Wii U, while comparing them to the recent final Final Fantasy games on their platforms.

    • Kaien

      Being fed up. A great reason to sell $47 million worth of shares. XD

      • Ace Trainer Chris

        $47mil is probably nothing compared to the amount Dragon Quest pulls in. XD

        That and shareholders are weird. Every time Square-Enix announced a new Dragon Quest or Capcom announced a new Monster Hunter for Nintendo platforms, not only would their stocks drop…BUT SONY’S WOULD, AS WELL! As if stock holders were blaming Sony for that.

        • decus

          Less weird and less blaming Sony and more knowing less people would buy Sony consoles and thus games on Sony consoles, one of the few portions of Sony that hasn’t super tanked. Stocks aren’t so much about blame*–they’re about profit. Losing system-selling games like DQ and MH in japan is going to lead to more sales going to the other console, in a market that’s less growing than it is shrinking, in a business where console sales are important because they lead to software sales for everybody leads to profit. Just have to look at the Vita to know any investor who left after such announcements wasn’t wrong to do so; would’ve been a whole different ballgame if it got MH4 announced early on and a DQ MMO instead of those going to 3DS and Wii/phones, but instead that snowballing profit went elsewhere.

          *some investors might have pulled out because of the bigger picture “Sony either doesn’t realize or is unable to secure the titles it needs for future success”, so I guess that’s a form of blame, if one focused on their inability to be a profitable investment. Heck, they’re just now able to get minecraft which they should’ve known for the longest time was THE title selling the xbox360 to kids instead of the PS3.

    • AceRuby

      Well the funny thing is most of Square-Enix’s newer titles have been for mobile or 3DS so maybe Nintendo might take a stab at investing in Square-Enix possibly? Would probably make sense if you look at it Nintendo has really helped the Dragon Quest franchise in the West and has also helped them release other titles in the West like Bravely Default to much success.

      • Ace Trainer Chris

        Would definitely be nice. There’s already a nice handful of Dragon Quest games available in Japan and we’ve heard absolutely nothing so far. :(

        • AceRuby

          I’m with you I really want Dragon Quest 7 and 10 to come out West already even though I know why they are probably having trouble bringing 10 over (online play).

          • Ace Trainer Chris

            Shoot, I’d also love to play the DQ Monsters remakes.

  • hentaiking

    here’s the press release in english http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/news/20140416_E.pdf

  • GH56734

    Funny how things came a long way ago since 1996 and 2002… I guess this mean buh-bye to Type-0 localization/sequels on Sony platforms? (it sucks, really)
    tbh they didn’t really support the Vita… like, at all; more Nintendo support then, I guess? Since Microsoft isn’t really viable in Japan as things stand now, and they said they want to go back to their roots

    • http://uglylarvas.tumbrl.com/ Kanimir

      Selling shares doesn’t mean SE wont make anything on PS consoles anymore. Chances of localization Type-0 is just the same as it was before (which is still about 0.00001%).

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 禍津水樹 (MagatsuMizuki)

    Or Sony just needs the money, SE is doing well. FFXIV ARR is making them money and there hasn’t been any negative press lately.

    Pretty sure their stock went up after the announcement ARR has 2 million registrations across all platforms

  • EinMugenTenshin

    I can understand it though. Square Enix do release a lot of games exclusively to other platforms, while what used to be PS exclusive is now multi platform.

    I mean why would Sony financially support a branch that brings success to other consoles, instead of allocating those resources into focusing on firms that want to commit more towards their franchise? Just using stockholder powers to force a company into making unprofitable actions would just be silly and unethical, so then it would be better to just sell the division.

    • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

      Well SQ is 3rd party, FF was once exclusive to Nintendo, and MS, Sony, and Nintendo typically support companies that bring success to other consoles.

      • Traveler

        Still diferents games companies = diferents ways to deals with business

        • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

          Thanks for letting me know.

    • pokeslob

      This probably has little or nothing to do with Sony’s stock holding position

    • SMT

      After releasing all of those fantastic PSP titles, they have nothing for the VITA, and several titles for the 3DS, including Bravely Default that became wildly popular.
      I honestly don’t blame Sony for this reason and you’re absolutely right.

      • Satori Satya

        To be fair, S-E themselves had no faith in Bravely Default. And made zero efforts to localize it in the West. Where it became a success story mainly due to Nintendo doing all the heavy lifting in terms of publishing it and the PR.

        So we can’t really say that S-E knowingly gave the 3DS a hit. Because S-E had no idea it would become one.

        • SMT

          Fair point, but even an unintentional hit is still a hit, and the game was targeted at the Japanese public where it was fairly well promoted by SE, so they at least believed it would succeed in Japan…

          They haven’t done that with a VITA game, when they could have at least picked the lazy route and give Type-0 an “International” version on the VITA like fans actually want (But that’s just me hoping that the game actually WOULD be international not just by name…).

          I believe SE giving a heavy focus on the PSP is one of the bigger reasons that system sold well enough (I’m guessing second biggest reason after “Monster Hunter”, but I could easily be wrong), and if SE had created at least ONE “must-have” title for the VITA, the sales would be much better.

          • Satori Satya

            Well after what happened here with Sony… I don’t know if things will get better for the Vita.

            Lets hope they all act professionally.

        • jlenoconel

          SE are fucking idiots.

    • Duo Maxwell

      Taken from NeoGaf

      “From what I remember, Sony made an equity investment in square around the time spirits within tanked; it was almost a good will gesture to help the company raise some additional capital when they needed it. I believe the shares were nonvoting. That is important. After the se merger, sony’s ownership position was diluted and remained functionally irrelevant (since it was nonvoting). ”

      So I think you’re right. They are better selling it since it serves no purpose anymore.

      • katamari damacy

        If those shares were non-voting and supposedly gave no dividends, then they make no money and Sony can’t influence the decision making within SQENIX. Those shares never severed a purpose unless they had dividends.
        If anything, them selling now after the unexpected success of Bravely Default, FF Realm Reborn, and SQENIX finally realized that they have to concentrate on their niches instead of making poorly selling “western accessible” games is smart because they’re selling shares at a time when their price is relatively high in comparison to when they infused SQ with capital all those years prior. Pure business decision on their part.

    • subsamuel01

      Yea, there’s no point. Kingdom hearts Final Fantasy all the big sellers that Square had on PS2 are now multi-platform. Even games like Tomb Raider was promoted at Microsoft E3 press conference, this move makes sense for Sony financially.

      • TheHolypopeofgaming

        But most of square’s games will be bought exclusively ON sony platforms. their multiplats sell better on Sony hardware

  • Atmey

    There another method to dump your girlfriend, announcing it in public and so suddenly will backfire for both.

  • 3PointDecoupage

    So…guess SE is jumping off the PS bandwagon? FF16 on Wii U?

    • Masa

      that would be the worst move ever…..

      • 3PointDecoupage

        Not for Wii U owners.

      • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

        Worst move how?

        • 3PointDecoupage

          Because no one owns a Wii U. Not many people will buy it.

          • http://people.ign.com/princerevolver Surgeon Of Death

            Ah yes, the whole Wii U is doomed nonsense

          • AceRuby

            Yea I think if Nintendo secured FF16 people would be buying more Wii U’s for sure and me being a Wii U owner would pre order that game in an instant (especially if the FF12 team were to work on it).

          • Aaron K Stone

            Don’t need it anyway when theres X.

          • Eder García

            that kind of reactions are the example of what is causing that move, people will not accept FF or other big SE project on non PS consoles

          • Satori Satya

            In Japan, more people own a Wii U than a PS4.

            The PS4 is trailing the Wii U by more than a million.

            Dat PS bandwagon.

          • xkumo

            Wow, a console that’s been out a year longer than another console is selling more.
            Stop the presses.

          • ronin4life

            Pretty sure Wiiu was also selling A LOT better at this point in its life than PS4 is in Japan.

            It isn’t just total sold, but momentum, development prioities of publishers and exclusives appeal. PS4 has none of that in Japan(Thanks to PS3/3ds) And while WiiU is not much better off it has the usual Best selling Nintendo content. Including MK8, Which seems to be selling quite well despite not being available yet.

            It isn’t about who has the bigger number, but who has the best pace. And PS4 doesn’t. Vita didn’t either. Actually, even PS3 Sold slower than WiiU… So the idea WiiU is in such bad shape is a disgustingly misinformed one.

          • $1484028

            nice selective data interpretation.

            if you’re going to argue pace that its worth noting the WiiU sold about 950k in 2012. the PS4 has pushed 510k units in 2 months…

            meanwhile this year so far, the PS4 has outsold the WiiU at an almost 4:1 ratio IN JAPAN. that’s only talking about Japan. its only that “close” in Japan. we’re not even talking about the rest of the world.

            hell its says a lot when the freaking president of Nintendo releases a statement that literally says they had to cut sales expectations for the WiiU by over 66%. that says something about its pace. Nintendo’s only expecting 2.8 mil units total for this year. the PS4 has already hit 500k in Japan alone and will likely exceed Nintendo’s yearly global forecast by the end of the month.

            its disgustingly misinformed to act like the WiiU ISN’T doing poorly.
            the PS4 may not be doing great either, but those ideas aren’t linked. they can BOTH be doing poorly.

            but its pretty hard to be serious and yet try to spin the idea that the WiiU isn’t doing poorly despite it being outsold by the PS4, PSV, and even the PS3 at this point and has been EVERY SINGLE WEEK since the PS4 launched in Japan.

          • ronin4life

            Your data is no less selective, opting to ignore relative pace of growth to focus solely on the here and now rather than historic precedence and future outlooks.

            I also never said WiiU wasn’t doing poorly, but argued it isn’t doing as bad as is being widely interpreted by a ridiculous number of people.

          • Satori Satya

            And yet in the Western world, quite the opposite happened.

            Should we stop the presses again for that one?

            Or maybe we should stick to the point about a console having a much larger user base in Japan & thus being a better option for console games because of that?

            No, that would be too weird, right?

          • CozyAndWarm

            It worked out fine for Square when they jumped ship for FFVII. Tons of people will buy a Wii U for FF.

      • Ace Trainer Chris

        Didn’t Dragon Quest X help push some Wii U sales? Last I checked, FF only seems to do well these days in the west, with Japan being more interested in DQ.

        • 3PointDecoupage

          DQ always outsold FF in Japan.

      • Eder García

        DQ on Xbox would be worse

    • MaximDualBlade

      It’s been years since I felt that SE was in the PS bandwagon. FF16 for wiiu seems like a bad move but SE is capable of anything

  • Kornelious

    This isn’t gonna effect Kingdom hearts 3 is it :(

    • 3PointDecoupage

      It *should* already be pretty far in development so I doubt it. But then again, look how FF15 turned out.

    • Eder García

      actually that would mean the WiiU will receive KH3, still not gonna happen

  • http://epiclyamazing.wordpress.com/ AzureNova

    In all honesty it just seems like Sony is selling their shares for the money. I think Square is kinda stable at the moment.

  • 3PointDecoupage

    It does seem like a stupid move considering FF15 and KH3 will more than likely be the besr selling PS4 games.

    • http://epiclyamazing.wordpress.com/ AzureNova

      Perhaps they needed the money that badly. Only the future will tell. Lol

    • http://uglylarvas.tumbrl.com/ Kanimir

      And it still will, selling shares wont change that, so I don’t see where are you going with this?

    • echokanon

      maybe part of the reason would be the estimated release date will take much longer than their expectation

    • Longshadow

      Economists love their quarterlies. Sony cannot convince its own shareholders (including itself) that it’s worth holding onto a $47 million investment for whatever dividends FF15 and KH3 yield 6+ quarterlies from now, especially when the last few quarterlies have been as red as The Shining elevator scene.

  • malek86

    I don’t think this will change much. It’s not like Sony’s stake in the company had helped keep FF13 (or FF15, or KH3) exclusive to Playstation. With the current state of the market, the PS4 will keep getting AAA games anyway, and I guess they wanted to get the money rather than keep their shares in a company which now focuses more on mobile games than on anything that could help their platforms.

    • Sato

      Yep, I’m with malek on this one. This isn’t going to change much for either of ‘em, except Sony will just look slightly better (or not as bad) for their quarterly.

    • Eder García

      yeah, but that would mean no more HD versions of past FF games (and sony fans dream of FF7 HD is dead)

      • Mantiskilla

        Eh, I wouldn’t say its dead. It’s just now if they were to make FF7 HD you would probably see it be multiplat on both PS4 and Xbox One. PC would probably get it as well but they don’t fall into console exclusive contracts anyway

      • Carlos Fernandez

        From what I was reading in other people’s comments, I think that would not be the case. Someone else had stated this:

        “Sony made an equity investment in square around the time spirits within
        tanked; it was almost a good will gesture to help the company raise some
        additional capital when they needed it. I believe the shares were
        nonvoting. That is important. After the SE merger, sony’s ownership
        position was diluted and remained functionally irrelevant”

        If they were in fact nonvoting shares, then SE was never owned or binded to Sony in any way. I believe them selling the stocks may hurt the relation, but it would be unwise for SE to stop making games on Sony platforms entirely.

        • Eder García

          that Square – Sony deal came before the movie from what i heard.
          still the merger with Enix was unexpected by Sony, who wanted Square to be the RARE of PS.

  • SirRichard

    It seems to be less about problems for Square than it is problems for Sony, they’ve been selling off assets lately to keep themselves in the black as much as they can lately (like their HQ building a while back, if I remember right). Not like those shares were getting them anything from Square, like.

  • NintendoPSXTheSecond

    So since Nintendo has been looking into mergers and acquisitions now, can we expect some deals on the slide with this newly freed Square-Enix? Maybe?
    I mean realistically Square and Nintendo have themselves a decent relationship, it’s not completely out of the question if Nintendo wanted some more power for their consoles.

    • Eder García

      not gonna happen, still Nintendo and MS will be benefit for this Sony’s move. now that SE will not be “forced” to give to PS consoles their best projects

    • MisterHoot

      Not a chance

      The reason people don’t develop for Wii U is not only because of money. The hardware is so laughably ancient at this point and the install base or interest on Wii U console is just generallyl ess than other platform. There’s a better chance that SE will give PC a chance rather than Wii U. It’s not a question of preferential treatments. It’s a question of “on what platform will my game sell more”. At this point, PS4 is the better answer as well as possibly PC if they decided to.

      Selling share changes nothing, especially with the fact that Sony’s console has been ravishing the market so far

      • Eder García

        your argument is valid only for the western market, for Japan is only because Nintendo is not Sony

      • Nintendojitsu

        If hardware was a legitimate reason for releasing any game, the consoles would’ve been dead a long time ago.

        • MisterHoot

          Oh yeah, i don’t mean hardware alone. And by hardware, I don’t necessary mean “power”, i mean ease and accessibility for developpers. (although true for Eder, this mostly applies for the west, japanese devs tend to give a bit less of a damn, but still). With Xbone and Ps4 architecture being closer to PC this time around, most devs tend to flock to the machine which is closer to their main development platform, at least that is what I imagine.

          And yes, it is doing poorly in japan, although SE is more international focused at this point when it comes to Final Fantasy.

          Nevertheless, I digress. I love the Wii U and think it’s a fantastic machine but when it comes to Square Enix, who sadly doesn’t do that much charity these days, I think it’s just more likely than their new platform would be PC. But I’d love it if SE would actually try to port their mainline to WIi U. At least it might force them to up their fucking quality control ths time around

      • CozyAndWarm

        If hardware power was such a concern then Square wouldn’t have stuck with the PS2 for a whole gen. And in Japan at least, the PS4 is doing pretty darned poorly on the market.

      • decus

        You guys are parroting fanboy comments without realizing that the issue is not “does hardware power matter” and more that SE makes their own game engine for their releases. This time around, said engine probably can’t even run on WiiU because, if it could, they’d be likely to release PS3 versions of their games too and they aren’t. I mean…I guess they could try to get the engine and then the games running on PS3 and WiiU? But they aren’t, so yeah.

        I do expect PC releases though, since PS4 is -not- ravishing anything at the moment and said game engine was really, really expensive while porting between PS4, PC and XBONE is really easy, so it’s only natural.

  • vincent_vincent

    To sell it for 110 million less? I wonder what’s going on

    • malek86

      Yeah, I noticed that. Seems like bad business, but they did get a number of exclusive games for a long time, so I guess the purchase still helped overall. I think they kept them for too long though. They should have probably sold them sooner. Right now Sony smells like trouble, so any buyer will be able to wring out a lower price from them.

      Unless they are already considering that sum, and those 4.8 billion yen are actually all profits from the sale (in other words, they sold for 20 billions).

  • King Chibi

    yeah well ppl can say they are loosing money but guess what FF15 and KH3 are still being made, so money aside they are good. when these games release without a doubt they are will be TOP NOTCH QUALITY YEAH MAN

    • J_Joestar

      Well Sony is in a far riskier situation than SE anyways, so it is less a case of Sony losing faith in SE and more Sony just needing to build up all the capital it can.

  • Impressionnant

    First they almost went bankrupt with the PS3
    Then they had to sell their HQ
    Then many key people, from their studios, left (like Amy Hennig)
    Now, they sold their Square stock (because they need the cash)

    The ride never ends.

    • NintendoPSXTheSecond

      It ends with being defunct.

      • 古戸ヱリカ

        I’m pretty sure there are plenty of zany money making schemes to follow afterwards.

  • Unlimax

    Hope this wont affect the relationship between the two ~

    • Godmars

      By what happened between the PS3 and 360, the latter which received preferential treatment for titles like Last Remanent, Square’s relationship with Sony wasn’t all that good.

      Nevermind that the games weren’t that good.

      • Ferrick

        except that the games on 360 weren’t all that good either (on SE side), Last remnant was overall “WTF, who wrote this”, and infinite undiscovery was the average of average

        on ps3, nier was atleast notable

        • Godmars

          Nier was multiplatform while LR, regardless of how it reviewed, kept coming up on a PS3 Top Wanted list for years.

          And really, the issue is that overall Square’s ability to make games have only fallen since Wada too over. Squaresoft became Square Enix.

          • Ferrick

            and where is this “list”

  • Ethan_Twain

    This is depressingly less dramatic than that time when Nintendo and Square sold all their stock in each other and wouldn’t acknowledge one another for an entire console generation.

    As games become bigger business, petty drama like Nintendo screwing Sony over on their console partnership or Nintendo and Square Enix’s spat just isn’t likely to happen any more :(

    • ronin4life

      I heard a while ago from a commenter On Dtoid an interesting point about the Sony-Nintendo Fallout: Sony was trying to Screw Nintendo over first.

      My memory is hazy, but Sony wanted control over all of Nintendos IP/Business decisons or something to that effect, bassically giving them control over Nintendo. And they didn’t like that too much.

  • Bill

    Is it Square that’s looking bad, or is it Sony? Just took a look at the Sony balance sheet, and the current ratio for Sony is 0.88 in 2012, and 0.84 in 2013, which spells out real trouble for Sony. Square Enix, though, appears to be in much better financial shape, with the current ratio at 5.03 in 2012, and 4.25 in 2013. While Square Enix has gone down quite a bit in the past year, that still indicates that Square Enix appears to be healthier than Sony.

    I’d be more worried about Sony than about Square-Enix.

  • Guest

    Not surprising after recent Sony’s moves. In the big scheme of things I’d think the number of shares they had was insubstantial to influence any decision, so I don’t know why everybody is talking about exclusivity, it didn’t matter in the past. This is more about Sony looking for additional profits.

    • ronin4life

      This is about Sony patching holes to appear profitable.

      Just like all the other specifically timed selloffs they have been doing.

  • Eder García

    this is a surprise indeed, Sony having shares on Squarenix is the main reason why PS consoles are priority for Squarenix’s big projects, for the fans, this would be bad news because SE big projects will not be PS exclusive anymore or that promotion Sony is giving to SE’s games for years (i know FF15 and KH3 are coming to XBONE but is because of that money hat from M$)

    • shuyai

      SE game hadn’t been exclusive since start of PS3 gen, so it doesnt matter

      • Eder García

        KH 1.5
        Drakengard 3
        FF 14
        FF X HD

        • shuyai

          KH 1.5, FF X HD, FF14(available on pc) ports and remake hardly counts, also Drakengard 3 is made by access game and published by square enix only.

          but even if you count them all it is only 4 game(in that only one real new game is Drakengard) in 8 year doesnt mean anything

          • Eder García

            fair enough.

    • CozyAndWarm

      Bad news for fans? I’d be very glad to see Square branch out more or move exclusivity elsewhere, especially to PC or Nintendo. I think it’d be good for them. Most of Square’s PS-only outputs last gen weren’t particularly great.

      • Eder García

        right, i was talking about PS1 and PS2 era fans who wants everything PS exclusive (remember that cancel DMC4 360 and PC petition from Sony fans?)

  • Skeptika Crediblus

    And, as their new shadow owner, I hereby pledge to end the Final Fantasy series and institute Bravely Default and Xenogears as our flagship series that won’t include Lightning, FFVII references, micro-transactions, rhythm games, or anything involving chocobos.

    Get ready to love Chu-Chu, people. We’re putting him in everything.

    Also Poshul.

    • Göran Isacson

      I don’t know whether to call you Historys Greatest Monster for reminding me that Poshul exists, or a wonderful human being for making me laugh as I am currently doing.

      Maybe you can just be Historys Most Wonderful Monster?

      • Skeptika Crediblus

        I’m willing to accept that. :)

  • FivePointedTheStar

    I wouldn’t be so concerned about Sony selling their shares so much as WHO picks them up. Someone or some group of people is going to buy them. Doesn’t that give them decision-making power? Things could get better just as much as they could get worse.

  • Zeero Senju

    so will Final Fantasy XV be coming out on the ps4 or not?

    • http://www.carpefulgur.com SpaceDrake

      Unquestionably. This doesn’t represent a severing of ties between the two companies, this is largely about Sony wanting to pad out their financial report for the previous fiscal year a little.

    • Kaetsu

      This won’t affect anything currently in development and probably doesn’t affect any future projects as long as the next company to pick up these shares is Nintendo or Microsoft. Square Enix makes a lot of their games multi platform and with Sony systems being the best selling systems that can run all of Squeenix’s new games, I’m sure you’ll still see a bunch of releases from them on PS4. That said I would like to see Square Enix take a stab at making a Wii U game aside from a director’s cut(DQX doesn’t count because it hasn’t been localized).

  • http://www.carpefulgur.com SpaceDrake

    It’s actually fairly likely that this has more to do with Sony as opposed to Square; Sony is still somewhat on the financial rocks, despite recent successes, and as noted in other comments and elsewhere, these shares are non-voting ones.

    Much more telling, I think, is that despite the sale happening *now*, the revenue from the sale will be counted as revenue for the fiscal year ending this past March for Sony’s financial reports.

    TLDR: this is a somewhat desperate attempt by Sony at adding more revenue to their books. It means very little for Square-Enix.

    • Derry Santoso

      47 million$ means very little for Square-Enix…. oookkkkaaaayyyyy….

      • http://www.carpefulgur.com SpaceDrake

        The funny thing is, that’s not money out of Square’s pocket. Those were the stocks Sony bought over a decade ago; the investment has long since been made in Square. Despite being a sale of “Square Enix stock”, especially since they are (apparently) non-voting shares, the sale means very little to them.

    • CirnoLakes

      That makes sense I guess. You probably understand things like this better than I do. It does make sense that Sony is still facing troubles. The video game market is only one part of how to make money, and you can’t really be a megacorporation like Sony on the video game industry alone. And Sony has been going through some troubles lately it seems like.

      Used to be, Sony was a really large part of the electronics market in general. And they still are, to a degree. But they’re facing some major competition from companies like Samsung who are very prominent and appear to be selling a lot better. It used to be that Japan was fairly alone alongside the American and European industry in the worldwide market for name-brand products. But now South Korea is a very serious worldwide power alongside Japan. And Sony and other Japanese companies are starting to struggle alongside companies like Samsung and LG.

  • Learii

    Square-Enix better make exclusive games for sony for this

    • leingod

      Actually, it’s the other way around. They should’ve made Sony exclusive games when they had shares in the company.

      • Learii

        oops I guess I read it wrong lol

  • CozyAndWarm

    Rather than a weakened relationship with SE, I think Sony are just selling off more of their assets for a quick buck. They’ve been doing a lot of that lately.

  • new_tradition

    Just gonna copy/paste what I said in another thread…

    Does this really mean anything in a gaming sense? Even before
    FFXIII, FFXI wasn’t a Sony exclusive. DragonQuest seemed to have gone on
    to be a Nintendo exclusive, and the only recent PS3 exclusives were HD
    collections and a revival of a niche series (Drakengard 3). I don’t
    think Sony had much sway in the first place when it came to games being available for Sony systems, or even exclusives…

    As for selling off stock in the first place, it just feels like any shareholder selling off their stock, that’s it. Is it a bad sign for SE? I don’t think so. They’re still trucking along whether people like their methods or not *shrugs*

  • Slickyslacker

    I’ve always said that if any major corporation is doomed, it’s Sony.

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 禍津水樹 (MagatsuMizuki)

    Sony needs to figure out how they’re going to turn things around, this could be considered a desperation tactic

    Sell everything cheaper , if you’re in the red how long will the premium price tag actually help

  • axemtitanium

    If you’re going to report on a business decision and you have no insight into the motives that are behind it, please do not speculate or editorialize (“Things aren’t looking too great for Square Enix”). Large business moves like this are almost categorically never about perceived “loss of faith” in another company or driven by petty things like console preference/wars, fanwank, or the like.

    In fact, Sony selling its shares does absolutely nothing at all to Square’s finances since they’re selling shares to someone else (fun fact, when you buy shares in a company, you’re buying them FROM someone and shares are not available to buy unless someone is selling them; shocker I know). The results of this business transaction are: 1) Sony gains $47 million to spend elsewhere on its books or just put into its warchest, 2) Sony loses whatever minority stake in SE that 9.5M shares afforded them.

    • Samsara09

      Man,when the comment section is so much better and more informative than the topic itself,one has to wonder….but yeah,after your comment the section is back to it’s usual self.

    • Bill

      Actually, the sale would appear on their statement of cash flows, and not on their income statement.

  • Six

    I’m surprised Sony didn’t sell them off sooner. Not like those shares were snagging them any exclusive games.

    Square Enix is back on the upswing (from what I’ve heard), and Sony could use the extra money.

  • Freud_Hater

    M’well, this might be a problem… if they start making XBone exclusive games, I’m royally screwed :/ Then again, they’d have to be GOOD XBone exclusives to be an actual problem :/

  • Samsara09

    i almost shat myself when I read the headline! Don’t joke with us!

    honestly,one can say that the proper news is here in the comment section…

    .If Sony sold SE’s shares,someone else probably bought it…so,some other company will be doing what sony did previously.

    Honestly,many people here are overestimating how much sony effectively backed up SE. To me,sony saw SE as just as a “pet project”.

    • EX+

      Exactly. Not enough shares to have any huge impact on the company.

  • Yan Zhao

    Well, I guess SquareEnix should’ve just kept FFXV and KH3 PS4 exclusive :3

  • Steven Higgins

    I’m not going to pretend I understand business ’cause I don’t, but I’m more concerned what effect this will have on Square than Sony.

    • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 禍津水樹 (MagatsuMizuki)

      Nothing

      • Steven Higgins

        Yay!
        As long as Square doesn’t loose money, then I really don’t care about who owns what.

  • http://keiserone.tumblr.com/ KeiserOne

    It’s not like home console Final Fantasies are (or going to be) exclusive anyways. And it’s not like SE has been hiding their slow but growing ambition to transition to mobile devices. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  • Ni ~Algidus~

    >Things aren’t looking too great for Square Enix, as this morning, Sony Corporation made the surprising announcement that they will be selling all of their shares they have of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. in the upcoming days.

    oh come on. we’re not in Yahoo japan to read this type of stuff.

    since someone bought the shares from sony this only means that SE will be okay. Also sony position on SE was not all that important since they were nonvoting.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    I seen this coming

  • UkiyaSeed

    Guess it is time to wait if Nintendo will buy some of Sony’s Square Enix stock…

  • Anthony Hadow

    So does this mean no more kingdom hearts or FF15? what about Dragon Quest titles?

    • EX+

      No, they’re still going to PS4. Don’t worry.

  • Anthony Hadow

    will that mean no Dragon Quest, Kingdom hearts, or Final Fantasy 15?

  • Anthony Hadow

    will that mean no Dragon Quest, Kingdom hearts, or Final Fantasy 15? seriously? this is like the 5th time my comment has been deleted

    • Wake

      It isn’t getting deleted. If you refresh, Disqus derps sometimes and won’t show your comment for a couple of minutes. Your comments are showing up now.

      DQ will always stick to the console with the biggest fanbase, right now that’s the 3DS. As for FFXV and KH3, you don’t need to worry about those games. Both of them are going to be released for the PS4. There’s a reason why SE went multiplat, and it would just be counterproductive if they suddenly decided not to release it for the PS4.

      • Anthony Hadow

        actually I only see this one comment now, and I though they were going to PS3 as well I hope so i don’t plan to get a PS4 anytime soon. and Dragon Quet hasnt had any new releases in forever there holding that franchise hostage. I wouldn’t mind buying a digital copy of DQ8 though

  • CirnoLakes

    I don’t know much about this sort of thing, since I’m not a rich person with many connections in the business world. I’m not a person who does share trading, either. Though I would consider doing it if it were easy and affordable to do so.

    But perhaps this might mean it would be less likely for Square Enix games to be released exclusively for Sony platforms. Which would be nice. Though I don’t suppose that is something to worry about anymore, since that hasn’t happened very often in a very long time, and only occasionally happens now.

    I do think it’s good that Square Enix get away from being too associated with, and having too many connections with Sony. Just like I think it was a good idea for Squaresoft and Enix to move away from Nintendo when moving from the 16-Bit to the 32-Bit generation. Squaresoft and Enix and Nintendo and Sony were all good combinations that were really memorable, but I think it’s good for Square Enix to move on again now that the industry is changing again.

    Other than that, I’m not sure what to think of it.

  • Heropon

    another nonsense comment about Wii U i doomed

  • DCBlackbird

    At first the wii u was hanging by it’s finger into what seemed and endless fall but now with the nintendo direct….. It’s hang by it’s hand and the fall ain’t so deep.

  • Satori Satya

    I dunno, he’s not the one calling other users names here.

    So I wouldn’t call him a fanboy just because of his user name. A fanboy is not a fanboy because of that.

    A fanboy is a fanboy when he/she acts like a console warrior and starts spewing insults to others.

    So careful there.

  • Zero_Destiny

    You heard the people, cut down the personal attacks. Let’s try to have actual discussions. Warned.

  • planetofthemage

    Agree. Someone sporting a vocaloid pic for an avatar picking on someone with a nintendo pic is kind of a pot and kettle situation.

  • Satori Satya

    Yeah I think its silly to judge someone based on their avatar/user name.

    I’ve been to sites that have nothing to do with videogames or anime and sometimes a user will try to dismiss my opinions solely because of my user name.

    “Oh, so you’re a Buddhist? You guys are atheists!” or “You’re a weebo and you guys know nothing about politics”.

    Lets not judge a book by its cover.

  • Suicunesol

    I think it’s better to say that you shouldn’t make stereotypical judgments or derogatory remarks based on avatars. Avatars are a representation of yourself and/or your interests. You chose them for yourself, after all. So, if Nintendojutsu has an avatar that says “Because it’s NINTENDO MUTHAFUCKAS,” he probably likes Nintendo, and xKumo, having a Miku avatar, probably likes Miku. Making further accusations, such as fanboyism, would be unfair.

  • Zero_Destiny

    *applauds this comment a million times over again*

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