Microsoft Considered Acquiring Square Enix

Project Phoenix it was called.

Documents submitted to the court revealed that Microsoft actually considered purchasing Square Enix.

Many documents submitted to the court have revealed interesting details about Microsoft’s plans to acquire game companies, which actually confirmed long-time rumors. Now, another batch of documents has revealed more and this time it is another planned acquisition for another big game company.

Square Enix Was in the Cards

It was revealed that Microsoft actually considered acquiring Square Enix and its arm of Western, which were later sold to Embracer Group. Microsoft called the potential bid ‘Project Phoenix’ and was driven by the incentive to grow Xbox’s influence in Asian markets. It also planned to acquire Square Enix’s most popular franchises Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts.

Mobile Games Interest

Microsoft was interested in Square Enix’s “robust” portfolio of mobile games. This could have helped them drive Game Pass adoption of smart devices.

Interest in acquiring Square Enix seemingly died at a later time. The documents revealed that part of the filtering process of studios that failed to meet certain criteria which include the lack of original IP experience, a “follower without innovation, or lack of cultural fit or maturity in business. It seems Square Enix met this criterion when Marvel’s Avengers failed severely.