Square Enix this week deigned to respond to industry rumors following the publication of a Bloomberg report. According to the company, reports of its potential sale have been greatly exaggerated. Square Enix is not for sale.
The report from Bloomberg Japan is a short one and cites a CTFN report. According to both of these articles, two anonymous bankers claim that several companies have shown interest in buying Square Enix. That’s it — that’s the report. This may have gotten a bit of traction because the company is said to have lost some money following the relatively muted reception of Marvel’s Avengers. But it was somehow solid enough to cause Square Enix’s stock to rise by 12%.
Square Enix later released an official statement saying, “Bloomberg has reported today that there is interest from several buyers to acquire Square Enix. However, this report is not based on any announcement by Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. 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.”
It’s unusual to see a company bother to respond to a rumor, particularly one without much substantive evidence behind it. Then again, the report could still be accurate: It may be true that several companies are interested in buying Square Enix — I might be interested in buying the Crown Jewels, but that doesn’t mean Queen Liz is going to sell them to me. If the rumor is causing upheaval for Square Enix’s stock, I can see why they’d want it squashed as soon as possible. It’s also possible that the acquisition of Zenimax by Microsoft — Bethesda’s parent company being a publisher that seemed equally unlikely to be bought — lent the report some credence it otherwise wouldn’t have had.