Peace Walker, World Cup fever bolster Konami earnings

First quarter game revenues up slightly on strength of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Pro Evolution Soccer games; publisher posts net profit of $15 million.

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Earlier this week, Electronic Arts posted better-than-expected quarterly results based in large part on the success of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, the officially licensed tie-in to the quadrennial worldwide soccer tournament. It turns out gamers didn't need the official World Cup license to catch footie fever, as Konami cited its own soccer sim series, along with the PSP debut of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, as boosting the company's gaming business.

The launch of Peace Walker helped push Metal Gear sales for the quarter to 1.27 million copies.
The launch of Peace Walker helped push Metal Gear sales for the quarter to 1.27 million copies.

The publisher today announced its financial results for the three months ended June 30, with its Digital Entertainment division posting revenues of ¥25.02 billion ($292 million), a bump of 1.7 percent year-over-year. However, games are only about half of Konami's business, and company-wide sales were down 5 percent year-over-year to ¥53.18 billion ($620 million).

While Konami didn't provide sales figures for Peace Walker and a new Japan-only installment in the Pro Evolution Soccer series (known as Winning Eleven in its home country), the publisher did offer a glance at how its respective franchises fared. For the quarter, Metal Gear games combined to sell 1.27 million copies, while gamers worldwide picked up an extra 1.36 million Konami soccer games.

Konami's bottom line also improved for the quarter, as it managed a net profit of nearly ¥1.3 billion ($15 million). That's a bump up from the ¥367 million ($4.28 million) the publisher reported for the same period last year. Konami also stood by its previous projections for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, reiterating a forecasted profit increase of 1.4 percent to ¥13.5 billion ($157 million), with overall revenue climbing 8.7 percent to ¥285 billion ($3.32 billion).

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