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Square Enix Sees Sales Declines In First Half

A strong yen and sluggish game sales dragged on publisher Square Enix's results for the first half of the year. The company saw sales decline 25 percent year over year to 68 billion yen ($843 million) and profits down as well.
A strong yen and sluggish game sales dragged on publisher Square Enix's results for the first half of the fiscal year, ended September 30. The company saw sales decline 25 percent year over year to 68 billion yen ($843 million). Profits for the period were also down 36 percent to 1.7 billion yen ($21 million), but although sales came in below the company's projections, profits beat predictions. The company said its catalog sales are strong, with games like Final Fantasy XIII and subsidiary Eidos' Just Cause 2 leading the way. Overall, Square Enix shipped 8.17 million software units over the six-month period, with sales fairly evenly divided among the U.S., Japan and Europe. But the company's top-selling title was a Japan-only Nintendo DS game, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker, which at 1.28 million units accounted for nearly half of the company's shipments in the country. During the quarter, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days shipped 1.12 million units worldwide. Just Cause 2 sold 560,000 units during the period, bringing total shipments to 1.48 million. The Sony PSP game Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep shipped 510,000 units during the quarter, bringing total worldwide shipments to 1.27 million. Compared to the rest of the company's titles for the period, MMO Final Fantasy XIV, which released in September, is having a disappointing run of it, selling 630,000 units so far amid poor critical response and quality issues hampering the title. Yesterday at an investor briefing Square Enix president Yoichi Wada said the company would work on addressing the MMO's problems and "regaining trust" from dissatisfied users. The game will see a PlayStation 3 release in Spring 2011, and Square Enix recently signed a deal with Shanda to have the PC version distributed in China as well. "In this way, we will continue to strengthen our existing businesses in the third quarter and beyond, while also vigorously pushing forward our three growth strategies of globalization, becoming 'network centric' and strengthening our own-IPs," said Wada in a statement alongside the results.

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