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Microsoft wanted to acquire Square Enix as part of plan for mobile Game Pass

Microsoft wanted to acquire Square Enix as part of plan for mobile Game Pass


The deal was also designed to bolster Xbox’s presence in Asia.

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A screenshot of the video game Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Image: Square Enix

As part of its big wave of acquisitions, Microsoft considered adding Square Enix, the publisher behind the Final Fantasy series, to its Xbox portfolio. The news comes from internal documents released as part of the FTC v. Microsoft hearings, which previously revealed that Microsoft had considered other big names like Sega and Bungie.

According to the documents, Microsoft had a number of reasons for being interested in Square Enix. Part of it was to bolster Xbox’s historically scant presence in Asian markets. There was another obvious reason: to add more content to drive growth of Xbox Game Pass through new blockbuster Square Enix releases as well as the company’s extensive back catalog.

A more surprising reason for the potential acquisition, however, was to gain a step up in mobile — which could help “future mobile-exclusive Game Pass offerings.” Currently, Game Pass supports Xbox and PC, but it looks like Microsoft has had some broader plans in the past.

“Combining Square Enix’s robust mobile-native portfolio with our own could potentially help us create a mobile-native Xbox Game Pass SKU,” the document reads, adding that the publisher’s games — which include ports of classic games sold at a premium — would “have substantial value for a subscription service.”