Metal Gear Solid 4 drives Konami profit spike

Publisher's net income for first half of year is up 90 percent as Hideo Kojima's Guns of the Patriots sells more than 4 million worldwide.

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Like a giant cardboard box lying in the middle of an otherwise orderly secret underground base's hallways, the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was hard to miss.

Konami today released its financial results for the first half of its fiscal year, and the PlayStation 3 exclusive title had a definite impact. For the six months ended September 30, Konami posted net profits of nearly ¥12 billion ($122 million), up more than 90 percent year-over-year.

While the bottom line was up big, the overall revenue increase for the publisher was more modest. Konami posted total sales of ¥146.9 billion ($1.5 billion), up a little less than 10 percent over the ¥133.7 billion (not quite $1.4 billion) it posted for the previous fiscal year's first half.

Konami also updated its sales figures for Metal Gear Solid 4, saying the game has now sold more than 4 million copies since its worldwide release in June. As with many games, the pace of Metal Gear Solid 4 sales dropped steeply after its initial launch window. More than 3 million of the game's sales came in its first two weeks on shelves.

Interestingly, the geographic breakdown of Konami's sales changed significantly for the first half of its fiscal year. The publisher actually sold fewer games in Japan than it did during the same period last year (4.05 million, down from 4.57 million), while sales ballooned in North America (1.16 million to 4.05 million) and Europe (2.06 million to 3.49 million).

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