Sony has sold its shares (an 8.58% stake) in Square Enix to SMBC Nikko Securities we learn today. The company originally bought up nearly a fifth (11.2 million) of Squaresoft’s shares over a decade ago post-Final Fantasy movie The Spirits Within‘s critical and financial failure. Sony’s investment in Squaresoft then was likely due to their faith in the company’s recovery, as well as paving a road for a mutual relationship when it came to console releases in the future.
It wasn’t long after that Squaresoft and Enix merged, and Sony’s stake in the new Square Enix was reduced under 9%. Were Sony to purchase additional shares, it would have been at a much higher price, and so they resigned to keep what they had. Fast forward to today when Sony, despite relative success in the realm of video games, is struggling elsewhere — a loss of 1.1 billion yen US dollars for the fiscal year ending in March. Sony is estimated to take home about 4.8 billion yen from the sale of Square Enix shares, supplementing its cash on hand.
What does all this mean for Final Fantasy? In all likelihood, remarkably little. It’s fair to say that Sony may be unsteady about Square Enix’s recovery after what the company deemed as critical losses due to “under-performing” titles, but as far as future projects go, we at Final Fantasy Network aren’t inclined to believe that Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts III will suddenly ditch the PlayStation platform due to Sony wanting some extra cash on hand in tough times.
The particulars of the sale of Sony’s stake to SMBC Nikko will be made public in Square Enix’s yearly fiscal report.