Square Enix reported a 45% increase in operating profit for its games business in the first quarter, almost entirely down to digital games of various kinds.
In the three-month period ended June 30 2017, sales of first- and third-party packaged games declined year-on-year, dragging HD Games revenue down from ¥12.2 billion to ¥11 billion ($99.3 million). However, download sales of catalogue titles like Nier: Automata actually drove an increase in operating income.
The last expansion for Final Fantasy XIV led to an increase in both monthly subscribers and MMO revenue, which rose from ¥5.6 billion to ¥9.3 billion ($84 million) year-on-year. Smartphone and browser game revenue also increased versus Q1 last year, from ¥19.7 billion to ¥23.7 billion ($213.9 million).
The Digital Entertainment segment earned ¥44.2 billion ($399 million) in revenue, up 17.7% over the same quarter last year. Operating income for the segment was ¥13.7 billion ($124 million), a 45% increase year-on-year.
As an entire company, Square Enix earned ¥57 billion ($514 million) in revenue, up 11%, and ¥8.4 billion ($76 million) in profit, up 57%.
Next quarter is likely to be even stronger for Square Enix, with Dragon Quest XI already generating huge interest in Japan. Despite only being released on July 29, it has already racked up a combined 3 million units of downloads and shipments across PlayStation 4 and 3DS.