Square Enix financials falter on DQIX delay

Fresh off acquisition talks, Japanese publisher slashes full-year revenue projections 17 percent, profits 62.5 percent on postponed launch of DS game.

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Most companies are hunkering down, keeping their finances on a tight leash in anticipation of a long, hard economic winter. Square Enix isn't one of those companies, though, given that it announced this morning that it had placed an £84.3 million ($120 million) bid on Eidos, an offer that the UK publisher's board accepted. Pending regulatory and shareholder approval, the move would marry under one roof such franchises as Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Hitman, and Kingdom Hearts.

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However, that isn't the only bit of news out of Square Enix today. Along with announcing its acquisition plans, Square Enix also said that it is significantly revising its full-year revenue and profit projections downward.

For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, Square Enix now expects net sales of ¥133,000 million ($1.46 billion), 16.9 percent off of its previous forecast of ¥160,000 million ($1.76 billion). Net income--that is, profit--is now expected to come in at ¥4,500 million ($49.7 million), 62.5 percent below previous expectations of ¥12,000 million ($132 million).

"While results for Games (Online), Mobile Phone Content, Publishing, and Others segments have been progressing at a rate exceeding the figures previously planned, Amusement (Taito Corporation) and Games (Offline) segments are projected to underperform the figures previously planned due to [a] severe business environment for Amusement, and the adjourned release of a major game, which was originally announced to be released in March 2009 for Games (Offline)," the publisher said in a statement.

Although Square Enix didn't explicitly say so, the game in question appears to be Dragon Quest IX. As reported by Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, the Nintendo DS-exclusive installment in Square Enix's popular role-playing game franchise was delayed from March 27 to July 11, due to a "serious software bug." A North American release for the game has yet to be scheduled.

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