Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Will Square Enix make further acquisitions?

An interesting titbit of news came the way of Gamasutra from Square Enix president, Yoichi Wada, courtesy of E3.

In the interview, Wada is quoted as saying: "of course I will always do it [pursue an acquisition] when the right opportunity arises. For example, new culture is needed. There is a need for social networking type services. When it comes to that, maybe the resources we have today may not be enough to address that market."

It's not the most surprising piece of news - last year another publishing giant, EA, also saw the need to capitalise on the massive market being created by vendors such as Zynga. To that end, it acquired Facebook rival, Playfish, for $US275 million.

Between the growing popularity of downloadable games, and the explosion of social networking games, there's entire new markets opening up to publishers, and acquisition is a relatively speedy way to develop competencies in new markets. Square Enix has already shown it's keen on developing its iPhone and download business, so it was only a matter of time before it looked to social networking.

It’s also no stranger to acquisitions. Last year, Square Enix acquired UK-based publisher, Eidos.

In the interview, Wada acknowledges there is a difference in US and Japanese social networking markets and this would be a challenge for the Japanese publisher, but it seems inevitable that we'll soon see some kind of Final Fantasy take on FarmVille.

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