Existing titles drive profits at Square Enix as sales fall flat

Profits are up at Square Enix for the nine months ended December 31, 2017, despite a relatively flat sales performance. 

Profits are up at Square Enix for the nine months ended December 31, 2017, despite a relatively flat sales performance. 

The Japanese juggernaut saw year-over-year sales dip slightly by 1 percent to 188.1 billion yen ($1.72 billion), while profits increased by 30.9 percent to 22.3 billion yen ($204 million).

It's a similar story in the Digital Entertainment segment, which houses the company's video game operations and forms the bulk of its business, with net sales falling by 1.8 percent to 143.5 billion yen ($1.31 billion) and operating income rising by 66.9 percent to 36.3 billion yen ($332.1 million). 

According to Square, sales have fallen flat due to a lack of blockbuster releases compared with this time last year, although "high-margin" download sales of catalog titles like Nier: Automata gave operating income a shot in the arm. 

On the smartphone and PC browser front, established titles like Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Hoshi No Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts Union X continued to perform on a global scale.

Meanwhile, the firm's MMO roster -- which includes titles like Final Fantasy XIV and Dragon Quest X -- witnessed an increase in the number of paying subscribers and disk sales thanks to the launch of new expansions, further boosting sales and operating income. 

As we move toward the end of the fiscal year, Square has updated its full-year forecast and now expects sales and profits to total 240 billion~260 billion yen ($2.2 billion~$2.37 billion) and 16.5 billion~19.5 billion yen ($151 million~$178.4 million) by March 31, 2018.

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