Square Enix Shows that It's Losing Money

But will bounce back

  Final Fantasy
Videogame developer and publisher Square Enix has released financial data regarding the fiscal 2008 year, which ended on March 31. The sales of the Japan-based company went down hard, with around 1.43 billion dollars earned; the profits of the company are also down by more than 20%, with a value of 89 million dollars.

Square Enix has a couple of powerful videogame franchises in its portfolio, like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. The console and handheld games division performed worse, compared to the online division and the mobile division. Sales went down by 19% even if sales of the titles managed by the division were solid. 1.15 million units of Dragon Quest IV for the Nintendo DS were sold in Japan, while Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings sold 540,000 copies in Japan, some 220,000 games units and more than 280,000 games in Europe. Crisis Core was the best performer of the division with more than 1.2 million games sold all over the world.

Final Fantasy XI, which was updated with the expansion Wings of the Goddess this year, also saw sales plummet, even if the company says that it has more than 500,000 subscribers to the game, which is a pretty healthy number for a MMO in today's market.

The mobile and the arcade divisions also posted losses during the previous fiscal year but the company is upbeat regarding prospects for this year. It forecasts sales of 1.5 billion dollars and profits of more than 100 million.

Looking forward, Square Enix says it expects to rebound in the coming year, with fiscal 2008 sales of ¥160 billion ($1.5 billion), and profits of ¥12 billion ($116 million). The main titles on which the company is pinning its profit hopes are The World Ends With You, which opened to favorable reviews in Japan and North America, and some new Final Fantasy products, with both Nintendo DS and PC ports of famous titles in the series being prepared.

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By    28 May 2008, 18:06 GMT