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.

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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.
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.

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