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Dragon Quest VIII drives major profits for Square Enix

Japanese publisher Square Enix has announced its financial results for the nine months leading up to December 31st, revealing a major upswing in both revenue and profits as several key titles delivered impressive performances.

Japanese publisher Square Enix has announced its financial results for the nine months leading up to December 31st, revealing a major upswing in both revenue and profits as several key titles delivered impressive performances.

The firm reported profits of 13.3 billion Yen (98.6 million Euro) on revenues of 60.9 billion Yen (451.5 million Euro), a significant rise over last year's profit of 11 billion Yen (81.5 million Euro) on revenue of 40.7 billion Yen (301.7 million Euro).

Unsurprisingly, the biggest driver for that revenue was the launch of PS2 RPG title Dragon Quest VIII in Japan, with over three million units of the latest title in the massive franchise now sold through in the territory.

The game is set to arrive in the United States later this year, an with Square Enix hoping to replicate some of the overseas success of its other massive series, Final Fantasy, a European launch for the title may also be on the cards.

Other major contributions to the firm's bottom line came from GBA title Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, which has sold several hundred thousand units across the USA and Japan and launches in Europe shortly, and the international launches of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, which has sold 300,000 units in the USA and 100,000 in Europe.

Businesses including the firm's online games division (which is still largely focused on the hugely successful Final Fantasy XI, although new product launches are scheduled for 2005) and mobile games division also made positive contributions to the bottom line.

The first half of 2005 is likely to see Square Enix topping even these impressive revenue figures, however, with the launch of PS2 titles Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy XII both on the horizon.

The company also has a gamble on the cards, with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, its first foray into the CG movie business since the commercially disastrous Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, due to arrive on DVD and PSP-compatible UMD this summer.

It's not the only movie project Square Enix has in the works, however - massively successful cross-media franchise Fullmetal Alchemist, the first game of which was launched in the USA last week ahead of the arrival of the TV series later this year, is also due to make the leap to cinema screens this summer in Japan.

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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