Square Enix's "Quest" pays off

Tokyo-based game publisher reports 22 percent earnings jump; Dragon Quest VIII, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories are top sellers.

Square Enix has reported pretax profits of 26.5 billion yen ($255.6 million), net profits of 13.5 billion yen ($130.2 million), and sales of 73 billion yen ($704 million) for the nine-month period ending December 31, 2004, according to online dispatches, including the Dow Jones Newswires.

The Tokyo-based publisher of such franchises as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest posted profits of 10.99 billion yen ($106.7 million) during the same period in 2003. Square Enix attributed the earnings jump to the success of games like Dragon Quest VIII, which shipped more than 3 million units for the PlayStation 2 since its release last November in Japan.

In addition, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance shipped 360,000 units in its home market of Japan and 580,000 units in the North American market. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time for the PS2 shipped 360,000 units in North America and 110,000 in Europe.

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