A few months ago, Square Enix sold most of its western subsidiaries to Embracer Group. As a result, Square Enix will no longer own Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal, nor IPs associated with the respective studios once the deal falls through. But, according to the company's latest earnings call, this was just "Phase 1" of the company's business plan.
As per the video game industry analyst, David Gibson, "Phase 2" involves Square Enix selling all or a portion of its other remaining studios. Gibson believes that either will let Square Enix move resources around better, "mainly to Japan titles."
Gibson is expecting companies like Sony and Tencent to try and buy stakes in Square Enix's remaining studios. Coincidentally, Gibson's analysis comes just after we found out that Sony wants to buy a part of Square Enix, specifically, one of the Creative Business Units.
Square Enix has restructured the organization in recent years, introducing the four Creative Business Units. Creative Business Unit I and Creative Business Unit III are the biggest of the four. The former is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Final Fantasy MMOs as well as Dragon Quest Builders. It's also working on Final Fantasy 16. On the other hand, the latter is working on Final Fantasy VII Remake Rebirth and Kingdom Hearts IV.
Meanwhile, Creative Business Unit II and IV handle other JRPG titles. Square Enix also owns other studios like Luminous Productions, which is behind next year's Forspoken, as well as Tokyo RPG Factory, among others.
If Sony ends up getting part or full ownership of Creative Business Unit I, the tech giant will guarantee the exclusivity of mainline Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts games on the PS5 for the foreseeable future. Of course, since Sony also owns a sizable stake in Epic Games, so we wouldn't be surprised if they end up making their way to the PC anyway as Epic Games exclusive releases a year after coming out on the PS5.
Regardless of what happens, we're excited to find out more about what Square Enix has in store for its Japanese subsidiaries.
Speaking of, JRPG fans can look forward to playing the remake of one of its most influential titles, Tactics Ogre: Reborn, in November. The game is a remake of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together! from the 90s. Reborn will also introduce graphical and mechanical improvements to make it more like a modern game. Finally, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion will come out later this year.