Namco's profits jump

Japanese publisher sees a near doubling of profits, thanks to strong arcade and console sales.

While many publishers saw earnings drop in 2003, veteran publisher Namco Ltd. had a very good year.

The Japan Times reported today that in its last fiscal year, Namco's profit soared 83.3 percent to 7.6 billion yen ($67.2 million). The company's pre-tax profit rose 64.4 percent to 14.4 billion yen ($128.1 million), while its operating revenue climbed 11.5 percent to $172.6 billion ($1.5 billion) yen.

According to the Times, Namco attributed its improved earnings to strong sales of arcade and console games. Though the article did not go into specifics, it is commonly known that Namco scored a huge hit last year in Japan with both the home and console versions of the taiko-drumming game Taiko no Tatsujin.

Internationally, Soul Calibur II was a huge hit for Namco on consoles and arcades. Time Crisis 3 and Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht also did well, though to a lesser degree.

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