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Dragon Quest, Batman Drive Square Enix First-Half Sales Hike As Profits Fall

Dragon Quest IX and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 drove first-half revenues up 33.2 percent to ¥90.56 billion ($998.83 million) for publisher Square Enix, but profits still fell -- latest official sales of Batman and other games within.
A hike in first fiscal half sales wasn't enough to boost profits for Tokyo, Japan-based Square Enix, which was hit by unfavorable exchange rates and costs related to recent layoffs. During the half ended September 30, major DS releases Dragon Quest IX and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 drove revenues up 33.2 percent year-on-year to ¥90.56 billion ($998.83 million) for the publisher, Square Enix reported Thursday. But profits fell 55.7 percent to ¥2.68 billion ($29.25 million) for the period, confirming a recent forecast to investors. A strong yen has hit Square Enix and other Japanese companies that export products on a worldwide basis. In addition, Square Enix had to pay substantial severance payments to employees of its primary subsidiary Square Enix Co. Ltd. and developer Taito Corporation, who were laid off during the period. The layoffs drove the publisher to lower full-year forecasts. But Square Enix, which bought UK-based Eidos in its first fiscal quarter, said revenue results were "favorable," driven by the releases Dragon Quest IX, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Square Enix released the following unit sales figures for the first half: Dragon Quest IX: 4m units (Japan) Batman: Arkham Asylum: 2.63m units (NA: 1.54m, Europe: 1.09m) Kingdom Hearts 358/2: 1.22m units (Japan: 0.53m, NA: 0.59m, Europe: 0.1m) Dissidia Final Fantasy: 0.72m (NA: 0.36m, Europe: 0.36m) Mini Ninjas: 0.6m (NA: 0.25m, Europe: 0.35m) Across all regions, Square Enix sold 12.07 million software units during the first half. Japan captured the most sales, driven by the phenomenally successful Dragon Quest IX, followed by North America 3.47 million units and Europe with 3.02 million units. Asia swept up the remainder. Square Enix also confirmed in a first-half brief that it would decrease its workforce of 3,805 workers by 10-15 percent in order to "optimize" operations. Square Enix expects net sales of ¥180 billion ($1.98 billion) for the full year ending March 31, 2010, and profits of ¥10 billion ($110.2 million). Major upcoming releases Square Enix releases through December this year include Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers for Japan and North America, and Kindom Hearts 358/2 in Europe. Square Enix is also publishing in Japan Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed II, Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and its own Final Fantasy XIII on PS3.

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