Sony wants to buy Square Enix Tokyo claims Eidos-Montréal founder
A former top exec blames poor leadership at Square Enix for selling off the makers of Guardians Of The Galaxy and Tomb Raider so cheaply.
Square Enix selling Eidos-Montréal (Deus Ex and Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider and Marvel’s Avengers) was one of the most shocking news stories of this or any year, not just because it happened but because they were sold for a measly $300 million (£249 million).
By comparison, purchaser Embracer Group had to pay $1.3 billion (£1.08 billion) for Borderlands maker Gearbox, which makes no sense – especially not to Eidos-Montréal founder Stephane D’Astous.
In a new interview, he has spoken of his disappointment at the deal, while seemingly confirming rumours that Sony is interested in acquiring Square Enix – just not all of it.
D’Astous left Eidos-Montréal in 2013, so wasn’t personally involved in the purchase, but claims that Square Enix’s sale of the two studios wasn’t necessarily a surprise, especially after they allowed Hitman developer Io Interactive to return to being an independent studio in 2017.
‘It was a train wreck in slow motion, to my eyes, anyway. It was predictable that the train was not going in a good direction. And maybe that justified $300 million. That’s really not a lot. That doesn’t make sense,’ he told GamesIndustry.biz.
He blames ‘a lack of leadership, courage, and communication’ not just at Square Enix Japan but at Eidos UK in London as well, claiming it was an issue even when he was still at the company.
His most incendiary comment though regards Square Enix and their possible acquisition by Sony, which has been a rumour for a long while now – even if it’s lacked any proof.
‘If I read between the lines, Square Enix Japan was not as committed as we hoped initially. And there are rumours, obviously, that with all these activities of mergers and acquisitions, that Sony would really like to have Square Enix within their wheelhouse,’ said D’Astous.
‘I heard rumours that Sony said they’re really interested in Square Enix Tokyo, but not the rest. So, I think [Square Enix CEO Yosuke] Matsuda-san put it like a garage sale.’
It’s not clear how much insider information is involved in his comment, or whether he’s claiming Sony are still interested, but it’s certainly in-line with previous whispers about Sony’s intentions.
The implication is that Square Enix sold off Eidos-Montréal and Crystal Dynamics in part to make themselves a more desirable acquisition prospect for Sony, although they do have many other subsidiaries in North America, the UK, and elsewhere.
It also seems more than possible that Microsoft could sweep in to buy Square Enix instead, but if there is a sale imminent it’s not something any of the companies have talked about publicly.
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