Square Enix Delays Dragon Quest IX, Cuts Forecast

Square Enix's suspiciously-delayed financials finally revealed it will delay Dragon Quest IX four months in Japan to fix bugs -- while at the same time the publisher slashes its outlook for the year.
Square Enix will delay Dragon Quest IX from March 28th until July 11th in Japan due to the need for more bug fixes, the publisher revealed today. "The sale date has been changed to July 11 in order to give us enough time to improve and inspect this title," the company said, according to a report translated by game weblog Kotaku. When the company recently warned its third quarter earnings would be six days late, its share price plummeted to a five-year low as investors speculated that a delay for the major DS title could be behind the scheduling change. Square Enix may have been hoping that the timing of today's announcement of its intent to acquire Tomb Raider publisher Eidos Interactive would take a little of the sting out of the delay news -- and out of its slashed forecast, also revealed today with the late financials. The company reduced its sales forecast for the year to 16.9 percent to ¥133 billion ($1.48 billion), which would represent a decrease over last year's results of ¥147.5 billion ($1.64 billion). Square Enix's revenue forecast saw a much more drastic reduction however, -- the company cut expectations by about 62 percent to ¥4.5 billion ($49.9m), less than half of what it earned last year. The company says its mobile, online and publishing businesses beat expectations, but arcade and offline games face a "severe business environment," prompting the outlook reduction.

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