First noticed by ResetEra member “Dancrane212” Microsoft were very close in acquiring Square back in 1999. This comes from the recently released book Game of X written by Rusel Demaria.
The story goes that Microsoft looked at different companies about possible acquisition and one the IPs they had interest in was the Final Fantasy franchise. The company wanted the IP so much they made an offer to purchase a major stake in Square.
The book says that Microsoft even had a meeting with then CEO of Square Hisashi Suzuki. During this final meeting, Square decided to double their price in valuation. Head of Xbox hardware Rick Thompson said…
[Square] wanted something like one and a half billion dollars for half of the company.”
This ultimately caused Microsoft to walk away from the deal. Microsoft later launched the Xbox in 2001 while Square merged with Enix in 2003.