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Square Enix Shows Good Results, MMO Surge

Japanese-headquartered developer and publisher Square Enix has released its financial results covering the April to September 2004 earnings period. According to consumer ...
Japanese-headquartered developer and publisher Square Enix has released its financial results covering the April to September 2004 earnings period. According to consumer site IGN, Square Enix saw sales over the entire company increase 23.6% to 24.3 billion yen ($233 million), and a good-sized operating profit of 5.9 billion yen ($56 million), an increase of 155.3% from the same period last year. The company's pure profit (after taxation and other charges) was also significantly increased by 162.8% to 3.133 billion yen ($30 million), with Square's divisions all seeing positive results. Square's results were particularly good in the online MMO gaming arena, where the company reported that titles such as PC/PlayStation 2 title Final Fantasy XI and the Asian debut of PC MMOG Cross Gate resulted in an impressive 101% rise in sales, to 7.684 billion yen ($74 million), with operating profit in these online games up 230.9% to 3.252 billion yen ($31 million). The company reported in April 2004 that Final Fantasy XI had reached 500,000 worldwide subscribers. However, Square Enix's core offline console game business actually saw sales down during the quarter, in contrast to the emerging mobile sector, which saw sales up 54.8% and profits increase as the Japanese mobile phone gaming market continued to flourish. Citing a lack of new titles in Japan compared to the April-September 2003 period, when PlayStation 2 spin-off Final Fantasy X-2 was well on its way to selling over 2 million copies, Square Enix reported sales down 13.4% for its console game business. Nonetheless, the company still reported a profit increase of 7%, in part due to strong sales of GBA compilation Final Fantasy I & II and PlayStation 2 remix Dragon Quest V.

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