Sony Sells its Square Enix Stock

Sony Sells its Square Enix Stock

Final Fantasy XIII Lightning

Sony has sold all of its 9.52 million Square Enix shares to SMBC Nikko Securities for 4.8 billion.

Not too long ago there was an era where playing a Square Enix (or Squaresoft, at least) game pretty much meant buying Sony gaming hardware. In fact, the original PlayStation was an arguably JRPG behemoth thanks in no small part to Square's numerous quality releases for the system. That being the case, those days are pretty much past and the bond between the two companies is nowhere near what it used to be.

That in mind, it's hard not to see some sort of symbolism in Sony's recent decision to sell the entirety of its Square Enix stock. The sale, which ill net the company a reported 4.8 billion ($47 million), will move all of Sony's 9.52 shares into the hands of SMBC Nikko Securities which paid . Sony's Square Enix stake, which dates back to the early 2000s, represents about 8.2 percent of the total available shares.

Sony has offered no official reason behind the sale but some have surmised that this may just be another step in the company's ongoing plan to return to simplify its business and return to higher profit margins. This would be the same plan that led the company to cut 5,000 jobs earlier this year and sell both its U.S. and Tokyo office properties $2.3 billion dollars in 2013. We have reached out to Square Enix to see if the company has official take on the sale.

Source: GamesIndustry International

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Looks like somebody at SONY finally played an installment of Final Fantasy after X.

I like to think they sold up due to the earlier story that square enix went all in on DRM is good thing. It's like some dating site saying "stop using firefox 'cos the CEO is anti-gay rights" and firefox responds by getting rid of the CEO (whether by hook or by crook).

It's like Sony went "they support DRM? Sell that stock yesterday!" trying to put distance between themselves and squeenix.

Square Enix claims DRM is here to stay, earns scorn of gamers everywhere!

In unrelated new: Sony no longer wants to have any connections with Square Enix.

I know these two things are most likely completely unrelated and that this deal was probably long in the making but the coincidence is just too funny.

dangoball:
Square Enix claims DRM is here to stay, earns scorn of gamers everywhere!

In unrelated new: Sony no longer wants to have any connections with Square Enix.

I know these two things are most likely completely unrelated and that this deal was probably long in the making but the coincidence is just too funny.

ya, corporations move too slowly for this to be a reaction to the DRM thing, but the timing is hillarious.

I hope Sony doesn't lose it and make everyday Silly Sock Sunday. (I imagine that's pretty crazy for Sony)

But it makes sense that Sony doesn't want to have much connection with Square.. I mean, would you? For every good game they make or publish, they make so many good decisions. Like a Killer7 to 50 Daikatanas.

I bet this is more connected to Squenix not having made very much money in the last five years, even if the timing is hilarious. No point holding onto all those shares if there's no prospect of rise in value or dividends.

Yeah seems like it's a corporate thing from Sony's end, combined with likely poor performance of Square Enix stock. With Square taking the plunge with cross-platform FF last gen though I really hope they'll open up to PC/Steam releases with their JRPGs. Don't see any good reason not to really, if they aren't staying exclusive to Playstation. I can't see a way in which FFXV or Kingdom Hearts 3 on Steam doesn't simply equal more sales and greater profit.

Looks like Sony can tell what direction the wind is blowing. Squeenix have absolutely run their name (once a byword for quality, creativity, epicness and ambition) into the ground over the last few years and are well on their way to becoming a joke. It's tragic, but inevitable.

Ouch. That hurts. I've been playing Square games since Final Fantasy VII. I grew up with them, as I'm sure many people here did. To hear this hurts, even if Square hasn't been at the top of their game for some time. This feels like saying good-bye to a friend.

Well now... This is...not really that surprising. Really, you say things that everyone will hate...and then you wonder why you don't have anymore friends. Let's call this an object lesson, hmm?

Upon reading the headline, my immediate thought was: "Nintendo, now is the time...". But the shares were sold in full to a single buyer. Here's hoping Square Enix gets back to basics and reinvigorates itself with solid gameplay, interesting stories and inventive worlds (that DRM thing, though is another matter...). Bravely Default certainly would be evidence that they are capable.

Why didn't Sony do the very smart thing and instead just sell off/cut it's entire VAIOS, TV, and a few other of it's departments too? The only things coming out of Sony that are grabbing the interest of consumers is the Play Stations and games (for both PC and their own system).

I remember having a Sony Walkman back in the day.....no, not the CD kind, the cassette tape (Google it, kids) player. Great quality electronic that basically cornered the market at the time. When we transitioned into the CD era, they basically owned that too with the newest Walkman series. But when MP3 and digital quickly took over, they lost big thanks to Apple and a few others (no, not Microsoft and its Zune).

It's at that time that they should have stopped trying to take over different markets. Why did they want to push into family PCs when it was dominated by Dell and HP? Why go into TVs when there was Samsung, Sanyo, LG, Coby, Toshiba, Sharp, Phillips, etc? Why oh why are they spending money on creating smartphones when there is market bloat?!

Basically as said up top they need to shell all those mentioned departments and focus on what they know.

Uratoh:

ya, corporations move too slowly for this to be a reaction to the DRM thing, but the timing is hillarious.

well, squeenix was going under for years now. even in the corporation world i feel they moved too slow and lost because of it.

Deathfish15:
Why didn't Sony do the very smart thing and instead just sell off/cut it's entire VAIOS, TV, and a few other of it's departments too? The only things coming out of Sony that are grabbing the interest of consumers is the Play Stations and games (for both PC and their own system).

not entirely true. Sonys phone department has been coming up green and their movies are making money too. i do agree that they shoudl cut the TVs and othet departments, but you want Japanese comapny to abandon the market that raised them? yeah not gonna happen.

vagabondwillsmile:
Upon reading the headline, my immediate thought was: "Nintendo, now is the time...".

Nintendo is smarter than to buy a sinking boat.

Strazdas:

vagabondwillsmile:
Upon reading the headline, my immediate thought was: "Nintendo, now is the time...".

Nintendo is smarter than to buy a sinking boat.

Besides...if they buy anything, they should try to acquire the Megaman IP. You know...much in the same way people buy abandoned storage lockers to make money, Nintendo should buy this property that Capcom all but abandoned. (Especially since Nintendo by way of Sakurai by way of SSB showed more love for Megaman via the "Screw Capcom Laser" that was Megaman's Final Smash.)

Valve should by them and then port ALL final fantasy games to steam OS :).

Strazdas:

not entirely true. Sonys phone department has been coming up green and their movies are making money too. i do agree that they shoudl cut the TVs and othet departments, but you want Japanese comapny to abandon the market that raised them? yeah not gonna happen.

what TV shows have been under the sony name?

Nintendo is smarter than to buy a sinking boat.

then what might this mean for say....Tomb Raider...or Deus Ex

I guess they are "only" the publisher

Vault101:

Strazdas:

not entirely true. Sonys phone department has been coming up green and their movies are making money too. i do agree that they shoudl cut the TVs and othet departments, but you want Japanese comapny to abandon the market that raised them? yeah not gonna happen.

what TV shows have been under the sony name?

Nintendo is smarter than to buy a sinking boat.

then what might this mean for say....Tomb Raider...or Deus Ex

I guess they are "only" the publisher

Not sure where i mentioned TV shows. Sony has an entertainment department that makes movies. They also ahve a department that make TVs (as in, the physical TVs). You may have mixed that with TV shows?

For Tomb Rider, it would mean a well deserved rest.
For Deus Ex, i dont know, i never played any of them.

fix-the-spade:
I bet this is more connected to Squenix not having made very much money in the last five years, even if the timing is hilarious. No point holding onto all those shares if there's no prospect of rise in value or dividends.

Actually, the financial years have been more up and down

Fiscal year 2009
http://www.1up.com/news/square-enix-achieves-record-profits

Fiscal Year 2010
http://www.joystiq.com/2011/02/03/square-enix-profits-plummet-but-loss-avoided-to-close-out-2010/

Fiscal Year 2011
http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/14/square-enix-sees-6-billion-yen-profit-in-fiscal-2012-thanks-to-d/

Fiscal Year 2012
http://www.joystiq.com/2013/05/13/square-enix-posts-134m-fiscal-net-loss-projects-profit-for-com/

Fiscal Year 2014
http://www.polygon.com/2014/2/5/5381734/square-enix-q3-2014-earnings-returning-to-profitability
http://www.vg247.com/2014/02/05/square-enix-fiscal-year-profits-driven-by-final-fantasy-xiv-relaunch/

You can follow it here:
http://www.hd.square-enix.com/eng/ir/

The actual reason why Sony is selling off is because
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). "

They are better selling it since the stocks serves no purpose anymore. They are just wasted money if they stay where they are collecting dust.

Strazdas:

For Tomb Rider, it would mean a well deserved rest.
.

well thats one way of putting it

I do worry for the sequel she's going to come across a dark and broody version of nathan drake and they'll do the "were kind of fighting enemies and whoops! no were not! lets fall in love" thiing

if that didn't happen it wont harm the illusion that Lara and Sam are lovers...because they are..shut up

Vault101:

if that didn't happen it wont harm the illusion that Lara and Sam are lovers...because they are..shut up

Wait they aren't?

So the main intrigue of the plotline doesn't pay off?

Well I shan't be finishing that game then. First they take away my vintage WW2 SMG and replace it with a boring AK and now they take away interesting character development.

Bah.

The White Hunter:

Wait they aren't?

So the main intrigue of the plotline doesn't pay off?

Well I shan't be finishing that game then. First they take away my vintage WW2 SMG and replace it with a boring AK and now they take away interesting character development.

Bah.

well they don't say they aren't....

I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, I think the writer said she thought it would be a cool Idea abut..you know how game companies are...it still really looks that way so while they don't kiss or anything theres nothing there to shatter that interpretation (maybe they'll pull a Xena the warrior princess with this one) don't let me ruin the game for you!

Vault101:

The White Hunter:

Wait they aren't?

So the main intrigue of the plotline doesn't pay off?

Well I shan't be finishing that game then. First they take away my vintage WW2 SMG and replace it with a boring AK and now they take away interesting character development.

Bah.

well they don't say they aren't....

I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, I think the writer said she thought it would be a cool Idea abut..you know how game companies are...it still really looks that way so while they don't kiss or anything theres nothing there to shatter that interpretation (maybe they'll pull a Xena the warrior princess with this one) don't let me ruin the game for you!

Eh, it wouldn't ruin it for me, just seems like it's kinda pointless though.

I'll get round to finishing it eventually, I'm terrible for leaving games half-done.

alj:
Valve should by them and then port ALL final fantasy games to steam OS :).

Damn it no, I want Kingdom Hearts 3 to actually fucking release sometime D:

SilverStuddedSquirre:
Looks like somebody at SONY finally played an installment of Final Fantasy after X.

I really wish this fanboyism of X/VII would die already. Not everyone is going to like every damn FF game, and some people like me, like every damn FF game because of what they are, and not it's game mechanics.

On Topic: If this slows down XV and/or KH3 being released 2015 I'm going to cry. alot.

SilverStuddedSquirre:
Looks like somebody at SONY finally played an installment of Final Fantasy after X.

12 and a Realm Reborn are both good, stop that.

Either way, someone's still got stock in Square Enix, even if it isn't Sony, so I don't see the huge deal, just seems like a matter of Square Enix no longer releasing many Playstation Exclusives.

KingdomFantasyXIII:

"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). "

They are better selling it since the stocks serves no purpose anymore. They are just wasted money if they stay where they are collecting dust.

Thanks for the educated answer, neat that people do this kind of research even though they aren't actual journalists. The torrent of people making wild guesses as to why things like this happen is ridiculous.

alj:
Valve should by them and then port ALL final fantasy games to steam OS :).

I can think of literally nothing worse than Valve acquiring getting a hold of FF14 and micro-transacting that shit up.

The White Hunter:

Damn it no, I want Kingdom Hearts 3 to actually fucking release sometime D:

I want the next final fantasy to be good but we don't all get what we want.:)

Dango:

I can think of literally nothing worse than Valve acquiring getting a hold of FF14 and micro-transacting that shit up.

All of valves micro transactions are cosmetic so i don't see what the problem is valve has problems at the moment with steam but abusing microtransations is not one of them, in fact i would pay money for a rikku outfit for barret :P

alj:

The White Hunter:

Damn it no, I want Kingdom Hearts 3 to actually fucking release sometime D:

I want the next final fantasy to be good but we don't all get what we want.:)

Dango:

I can think of literally nothing worse than Valve acquiring getting a hold of FF14 and micro-transacting that shit up.

All of valves micro transactions are cosmetic so i don't see what the problem is valve has problems at the moment with steam but abusing microtransations is not one of them, in fact i would pay money for a rikku outfit for barret :P

But Bravely Second will be excellent.

Also microtrans in my sub, do not want. I love FFXIV and putting cosmetics in would be pretty shitty and damage the ingame crafting economy substantially. Why pay some dude a fucktonne of gil for an awesome new Helmw ith the looks to matchw hen you can just buy it for a buck.

GamemasterAnthony:

Strazdas:

vagabondwillsmile:
Upon reading the headline, my immediate thought was: "Nintendo, now is the time...".

Nintendo is smarter than to buy a sinking boat.

Besides...if they buy anything, they should try to acquire the Megaman IP. You know...much in the same way people buy abandoned storage lockers to make money, Nintendo should buy this property that Capcom all but abandoned. (Especially since Nintendo by way of Sakurai by way of SSB showed more love for Megaman via the "Screw Capcom Laser" that was Megaman's Final Smash.)

Eh, I don't know. The Square Enix ship may be leaking, but it isn't dead in the water. Look at Atlus (game quality was never a question, but finances were) - they were purchased by a private holdings firm, Index, and it looks like they could thrive now under the umbrella of Sega. In the auto industry, Chrysler (with all kinds of problems) went into private holding via Cerberus (before acquisition by Fiat), quickly restructured, and was the first American auto maker to turn a profit and pay off its debt after the TARP business, while its competitors continued to struggle. Sony isn't in the best financial condition itself at the moment and is actively selling - or looking to sell - various assets. Sometimes the stability (financial or otherwise) of the majority shareholder / owner translates directly to the stability and success of its properties. Holding firms and securities have been doing well with their acquisitions lately, because they aren't as volitile market players as are many other companies, so I see it as likely that Square Enix has a prime opportunity to refocus and recover nicely. And of the three console makers, Nintendo (current struggles with the Wii U included) is relatively stable and is still in a pretty good place financially. Acquiring Square Enix really wouldn't have been a bad move for them, and could have represented a return to form for all involved.

I like your Megaman idea, but it would never happen. Even if Capcom decides it hates Megaman (I'm almost convinced they do) they will never let go of those rights unless it is to save themselves from bankruptcy - and maybe not even then. The IP is just too valuable too them.

SilverStuddedSquirre:
Looks like somebody at SONY finally played an installment of Final Fantasy after X.

In other news people really need to let this die already. Good God you people are too clingy to some of this crap.

Sony once again doing everything it can to make the black for the fiscal year. I really don't know why they can't keep their dang finances under control. The amount of debt they have is absurd

 

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