Square Enix sales slide 28%

Role-playing game giant's revenues, profits dip dramatically in first nine months of fiscal year; president touts changes to choose titles more wisely.

by

It's unfortunate that Square Enix pushed the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution into its next fiscal year because the company could use a little divine intervention these days. The publisher today announced its financial results for the nine-months ended December 31, 2010, revealing steep declines in both sales and net profits.

Dystopian future aside, Deus Ex is a reason for optimism for Square Enix.

Through the first three quarters of its fiscal year, Square Enix touted sales of ¥98 billion ($1.2 billion), a 28 percent slide year-over-year. Net income fared even worse, as the company's ¥1.8 billion ($22 million) in profits was 77 percent lower than the same period the year before. In a statement accompanying the release of its figures, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada offered a reason to expect improvement in the future.

"Responding to intensifying competition in the console game market, the company has implemented organizational changes in the third quarter while also working to better select and further strengthen our most competitive titles," Wada said.

Wada also pointed to the publisher's efforts on PCs and smartphones as performing well. Specifically, he touted the 700,000 sign-ups for December's launch of the virtual community portal Nicotto Town, as well as a strong performance from the company's collaboration with Yahoo Japan, the online sim Sengoku IXA. The publisher made no mention of Final Fantasy XIV, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game that launched on PCs in late September.

Square Enix also reiterated the lowered full-year forecasts revealed when it delayed Deus Ex into its next fiscal year. For the year ending March 31, the publisher is expecting to post net income down 90 percent to ¥1 billion ($12.26 million) on sales down 32 percent to ¥130 billion ($1.59 billion).

[UPDATE] This article originally reported Square Enix's net income for the nine month-period as ¥1.8 million. It was actually ¥1.8 billion. GameSpot regrets the error.

Discussion

118 comments
Xplode_77
Xplode_77

@Agent3sephiroth Maybe you're right. Probably making a new Chrono game would be a better choice.

Agent3sephiroth
Agent3sephiroth

@Xplode_77 I think games like FF7 & FF6 are only fun these days due to the nostalgic charm . If developers upgrade the graphics but left the original gameplay as it is, then it would make for a really mediocre game. This is because those games had gameplay based on a static image on which you would move your character. i.e. those games didn't render much 3d in real time. And then occasionally the scene would change to render a battle scene. If you give it a graphical overhaul so you now have a real time rendering of a world, instead of just seeing a static image, then you would also have to change the gameplay. But then we are talking about a completely new game with perhaps only the original story in tact. And I assure you that those games will lose their appeal under such treatment. Although they might spawn completely new fans who never played the original.lol.

Xplode_77
Xplode_77

Hey I have THE idea that will save they're life. Remake Final Fantasy VII and Chrono Cross for the PS3, 360, and PC!

FantasyAndy
FantasyAndy

Hey now, I've done part. I own pretty much every game from every series that ever flashed Squaresoft across the title screen. But my generation is getting older and as a teacher I can say my students aren't familiar with the name Square-Enix. Worse then that, they haven't hardly heard of a Final Fantasy, let alone having played one (they see the boxs at gamestop). They are readying alot of fantasy (Harry Potter, and others) but these kids don't understand the appeal of the games. The Graphics monster is so over done for them in movies and other games, that now matter how beautiful a Square game may be, these kids have already seen it. What they are missing is the story and fun but simple enough game play.

mrhagane
mrhagane

Jensen Adam WILL save SQE!! ARGHH...!!! ( sorry if i act like fanboy)

mrhagane
mrhagane

honestly i hate what SQE did to FF, but that doesn't mean i want SQE gone! I want SQE to be alive and fix the FF problem and i want play FF again but not FF13!!

BlurKillerEX
BlurKillerEX

No surprise their sales slide... They should have brought FF XIII to the PC!

blackace
blackace

Does this really surprise anyone? At least they have two DQ games coming out this year that should help. Hopefully FF XIII Vs will make it out this year too. Tactics Ogre comes out in t a couple weeks. Going to pre-order it on the way home along with DQ VI. See SE, we still like some of your games. They just need to rethink their strategy it get back to great story telling.

Valacan
Valacan

Squeenix just bought the rights to Deus Ex in 2009. I'm sure they'll run that into the ground as they're doing with their other brand name releases.

huskerman34
huskerman34

Its too bad that all the good games of the past are no longer that great. Or there ported over to the wii for some godforsaken reason. They need to go back to the basics and lighten up on the graphics and focus on game play. Its all about game play. Final fantasy 11 was deep with good graphics even though the game is 10 years old. Its taking millions of dollars lost for them to grasp concepts.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

They don't get their act together quickly they will be bought out or dissolved.

NoDzombie
NoDzombie

well this is what happens when you manage to screw up the Final Fantasy franchise, i dont care how pretty the game is, walking in a straight line and pressing the same one button over and over to attack for 30+ hours is just not fun (especially when the story makes absolutely no sense) games need to be FUN first and look good second

master_zidane
master_zidane

I agree with the fact that Square Enix should stop trying to appeal to the westerns with their mainstream titles...but that would more or less mean no translations for such titles. Front Mission 5 is an example of such a game. Everything just comes down to learning Japanese in the end.

master_zidane
master_zidane

Square benefits greatly from titles like Deus Ex and Just Cause 2 (that is, Eidos titles) since they aren't just publishing them, they're Eidos's parent company.

DarthJohnova
DarthJohnova

I cannot for the life of me understand what they're thinking, surely someone in the company is trawling the internet and making notes of what the fanbase wants? If not, can i have that job Square? xD But no seriously, they're making losses and what's the best way to cure that? Sell games. And how will they sell games? Give the consumers what they want. This list of 100 or so comments pretty much covers what the consumers want and i think Square should listen, if not to please the fans, at least to save the company.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Here's my opinion on this matter. Square Enix was hardly ever found on the box covers in your local game shop. Now they seem to have branched out - but a bit too much. Like the man says they need to choose the titles more wisely. Deus Ex is going to be an amazing game, however it depends how many people will have actually heard of it on it's release. It'l probably need some good advertising. All the best to Enix though, brilliant company.

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

Still waiting for the next Ogre Battle (Althought it may not come, I think I´m the last Ogre Battle fan! lol), Mr. Square-Enix!

DanteDelacoix
DanteDelacoix

I agree with what people have been saying, they need to a) release FFv13 as its been in development for too long now....and b) release KH3 as its way overdue. They will soon see their money go back up

Ragnarok-64
Ragnarok-64

Think Square Enix need to really listen to players opinions, they said they have for FFXIII-2 so I guess we can hope that it is actually good, that will help them but all they really need to bring out is FFversus and Kingdom Hearts 3 and that should help them out ALOT.

DesertLynx83
DesertLynx83

After how cruddy Final Fantasy XIV was, no shock. I have enjoyed some games SE has made (Dragon Quest IX, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light), but it seems their best days are behind us. Also, I played Final Fantasy XIII and it gave me a huge headache!

mrhagane
mrhagane

Don't worry SQE... Deus Ex will save you, promise me

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

How about release versus(or atleast give us any information on it currently it's like it fell of the planet) stop making awful games like FF12,13 and 14(oh and a sequel for 13?? Giant WTF right there) not forgetting frontmission evolved ofc that pile of rubbish armoured core clone was trash why not make a proper FM? And how about when you do make one release it for the rest of the world instead of just japan!!!! Oh and mainly stop trying to cater to western tastes please......

maceman1984
maceman1984

Square really has to take some good risks. For example, making a FF game no one wants(XIV)=BAD RISK! However, remaking FF7 and updating it(or any of their classic RPG titles)=GOOD RISK! Also, releasing Deus Ex 3 on time= VERY GOOD RISK! Even though Deus Ex is not their game and they are only the publisher, I have a feeling that they would make more than enough money off the title since from everything I have seen so far it seems to be a faithful recreation of the original while adding all the good parts from Invisible War and improving upon them. The Deus Ex franchise has such a large fan base that there is no way that this would not be a cash crop for square. Even if by some act of god(or whatever deity you choose to(or not to)believe in)this game actually sucks, they would still make enough off of the pre-sales alone. Square needs to grow a pair and start listening to fans. I mean, Just cause 2 was amazing. Avalanche Studios really listened to the fans and improved vastly upon the first one and square took a good risk on publishing that game. Again, I know that they were just the publisher so the money was not as good as if it were their own IP, however if they listen to gamers and take that into consideration then I really think they would do a lot better. It is sad that a company that was once king of the RPG world could fall so far. Shape up Square and start taking some good risks.

Sha-Ruze
Sha-Ruze

@Ravenchrome A new Chrono Trigger would definitely be awesome and maybe an announcement of Yasunori Mitsuda ( original composer ) returing to score would probably bring a tear to my eyes. The thing I'm scared about a new CT title is that SquareEnix may make it a more 'Movie-like' experience and possibly follow in the footsteps of FFXIII in linearity. While I'm sure the CG would be impressive, I hope they do so in moderation. If its done like Chrono Cross, FF7, FF8 or heck anything like they used to in their PS1 days that'd be fine. It never felt intrusive and got you to the next part in the story as expected. Ever since Square got in over their heads with 'The Spirits WIthin' they became a vastly different entity. Hemorrhaging money would do that to you though. Like many people I hope Versus will be different, but we'll have to wait and see. Tl;dr - I'd love another Chrono title, I just don't believe in the current Square to properly do the series justice with its current 'awesome graphics and CG make a good game' philosophy for RPGs. I want Versus to prove me wrong and I look forward to that.

tauron1
tauron1

Easy remedy. Remake an older final fantasy game, like IV, VI, or definitely VII, and square will dominate. Or as someone mentioned, a chrono game, hell, people would even like a new xenogears.

Rizer
Rizer

Whoa. That's quite a blow within one year...I hope they can adapt to demands soon.

fzd88
fzd88

Square never fully recovered after the Hawaii FF film fiasco. After loosing that 150+ million, their entire game plan changed (rush to get products on the market, signing up weird game titles, etc.). The top management has definitely lost touch with the gamers in their pursuit of raising revenue margins. Square needs to go back to its roots and focus on great J-RPGS. ps. Games such as Deux Ex and Just Cause 2 are just a license deal. Square doesn't make them; just publishes them in exchange for a percent of the revenue (thus, despite the greatness of these games, Square doesn't benefit too much from them; money wise).

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

I'm not surprised at all. But I think will have a bigger year with FFVSXIII coming out and Deus EX 3.

Ravenchrome
Ravenchrome

Bring back a new Chrono game and you'll regain your reign.

Amir29
Amir29

Well, this is no surprise. Square has apparently completely lost their direction and connection with gamers. I;m still trying to find out what the hell they were thinking when they poured so much into FF13. Even worse, I'm still trying to figure out how I managed to play for 23 hours going in a straight line, press a few menu buttons to pull off attacks, and not go crazy!!! Forget the graphics Square. Games need to be fun first, and look good second!

neock2003
neock2003

Its simple Square need to develop games with out all the flash. Focus on the gameplay and and focus on what the gamer want's to play. Dispite being easily amused with Final Fantasy XII even through it was simply button pushing throughout the game. Making HD versons is great but come on how many times did they remake the original FF, too many times in my opinon.

pl4yer_f0und
pl4yer_f0und

well when u make sh***y games this is wat happens

Master_Turismo
Master_Turismo

Just make HD editions of old titles and I'm game.

blue_francis14
blue_francis14

I'd agree to those who got bored from playing FFXIII. Probably got used to the gameplay of Crisis Core or Kingdom Hearts. I wonder if they'd create a FF but with a comedic tone rather than your world will end because of the gods, ancient civ, etc. kind of story. Like armed and dangerous kind of story line?

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

How about a console Dragon Quest handled by Enix? No, I wouldn't want a FF styled game, just imagine the idea with DQIX but fully rendered under the PS3, imagine how MASSIVE that game would be. And if it was as good as DQIX was, then SE would have no problems with profits. I honestly have no hope for Final Fantasy anymore. FFXIII was the first FF game where I actually leaned back and said, wow, this game is crap, it's not even a game. I really like Square Enix, Square Soft and Enix Corp REALLY made up my 90's in gaming, but they need to step up and get the right idea's. Also, Eidos needs to make a new Hitman. That is all.

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

I just want a decent Final Fantasy Game. FF XIII was a snore fest. The last fun FF game was FF X. Wait that was SQUARESOFT. Sorry I forgot that. I would love remakes of Final Fantasy 7-10.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Being more careful when choosing the games that Square Enix elects to publish will avoid things like Kane and Lynch 2 Dog days. That is not the type of game I'd expect from Square Enix. Although they did manage to screw up Final Fantasy 14. Hopefully they can correct that game for Playstation 3.

joeborg14
joeborg14

@DarthJohnova One of the most concise yet accurate posts I've seen in a while. You have my whole-hearted agreement. Give gamers what they want, Square, and we'll give you what you want.

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

I'm really not surprised as I haven't relaly been very happy with SE's games since they became SE. When it was just Squaresoft, and just Enix they put together some of the best RPG's on the market. Now, most of their games are a waste of money. Although the new Dues Ex might have possibilities. Square Enix just doesn't have the same loyalty from me (especially after FF12 and FF13) that Squaresoft and Enix had. They have their work cut out for them if they are going to pull me back as a loyal customer.

ChargeMan1991
ChargeMan1991

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

zzamaro
zzamaro

why people ask for an FF7 remake? SE will only ruin it

toddx77
toddx77

Even more proof FFXIII-2 is being made to cover their losses lol.

youngsexynerd
youngsexynerd

allz i knowz iz, we need a lost oddysey 2 multiplatform, right now! final fantasy versus13, right now!!! and a legend of dragoon sequel or remake right now and all of squares ps1 classics on the psn right now!!!!!!!!! then kingdomhearts3, ff7hd remake, suikoden 6 an ff15 announcement! now we are talking true rpg gold!!!!!!

zMd113
zMd113

The World Ends With You was an amazing new IP, we need more games like this!

Icehearted
Icehearted

I see a lot of reasonable ideas here, though the stagnating jrpg genre needs some innovation soon. I'd love to see something new and exciting, such as another Chrono game, but more of the same FF{number goes here} will probably only put a lot of people off.

singhellotaku
singhellotaku

yes stop trying to appeal to the west you're westernized games suck just look at Front Mission Evolved that didnt sell well for a reason, if you really want some money release a port of Front Mission 5 already!

x_Xarion_x
x_Xarion_x

Is anyone really surprised by this?