Remember when there was big chatter about a Sony acquisition, specifically from industry veterans Jeff Grubb and Greg Miller? Both were talking about Square Enix. “When I talked about the three rumours I’d heard, and one was an acquisition, this is the one I’d heard,” Miller finally revealed on an episode of his PS I Love You podcast. “I heard that PlayStation was acquiring Square and I heard that from multiple different sources.”
How come, then, this rumour was doing the rounds but we never heard a peep about the Embracer Group buying Crystal Dynamics et al? Miller hypothesises that it’s possible some wires may have got crossed: “Was it that Square was trying to sell their Western studios and that was the rumour? Take everything with a grain of salt. That is what I’d heard, though, that PlayStation was trying to buy Square.”
As Miller rightly points out later in the podcast, anything is possible in this era where publishers like Activision Blizzard are getting bought up for almost $70 billion. But here’s the thing: when an acquisition actually does happen in this industry, we only ever learn about it when the ink is dry. That’s because business deals of this size are bogged down in so many NDAs that it’s almost unthinkable for a social media “insider” to get wind of them.
In other words, the next time you see a major rumour about a big corporate buyout, we’d recommend you approach it with a hearty helping of scepticism.