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Square Enix earnings tumble by 75%

Publisher's first half profits slump to $21m from $85m

Japanese publisher Square Enix has seen its first half net income drop to ¥1723 million ($21 million) - a 75 per cent decline from ¥6826 million ($85 million) in the second half of 2009.

Results for the six months ending September 30 saw net sales decrease by 30 per cent, down to ¥68 billion ($843 million) from the last half's ¥101.7 billion ($1.26 billion).

Forecasts for the fiscal year ending March 2011 put net income at ¥12000 million against last year's ¥9509 million, and revenues at ¥160 billion (¥192 billion in FY09).

Sales did not meet the publisher's forecasts, but higher than expected profits came in due to catalogue sales of titles including Just Cause 2 and Final Fantasy XIII.

During its fiscal half, the company sold 8.17 million software units - 2.84 million in Japan, 2.71 million in Europe and 2.48 million in the US.

The biggest seller over the six months was Japanese-only title Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2, at 1.28 million units.

Kane & Lynch 2 racked up 1.12 million sales globally, while Just Cause 2 added 0.56 million units over the last six months, to reach a lifetime total of 1.48 million.

Much of the decline was laid at the feet of MMO Final Fantasy XIV's disappointing performance. The PC game mustered global sales of 630,000 - although a PS3 version due in March may improve its fortunes.

"We're quickly working on reforms. We'd like to put our full power into regaining trust," CEO Yoichi Wada told investors.

"If we satisfy our users, they will return. On the other hand, once the users say, 'forget this,' there's no turning back. We can only recover our trust so far."

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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