Square Enix Conference Report
05.24.06 - 1:38 PM

At its annual financial results conference, Square Enix management announced its results for the fiscal year 2005/06 which ended on March 31st. The company has posted a consolidated net profit of 17.08 billion yen ($153.33 million USD) on sales of 124.47 billion yen ($1.12 billion USD).

Thanks to the success of Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy XII, Square Enix has sold 7.86 million units in Japan. This figure translates to an increase of 1.56 million units, compared to the results of the previous fiscal year. As of March 31st, Final Fantasy XII has sold 2.38 million units in Japan, while shipments of Kingdom Hearts II had reached 1.15 million copies in Japan and 1.26 million in North America. Nonetheless shipments in North America, Europe and Asia decreased, resulting in total worldwide shipments of 12.23 million copies.

For the current fiscal year, Square Enix projects sales of only five million copies in Japan due to the transition to the next generation of hardware. Thanks to the worldwide release of Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy XII, management expects worldwide sales of 13 million copies. In addition to new games, the company also wants to strengthen its sales of budget series re-releases. Regardless of the platform, the package design will be consolidated.

As far as the online game business is concerned, Square Enix president Youichi Wada acknowledged Square Enix's problems with coming up with a second major MMORPG hit after Final Fantasy XI. Accordingly, the next major MMORPG won't arrive during the current fiscal year (that is until March 31st, 2007).

Cellphone content apparently did not generate as much profit as expected. However, Wada expressed hope that Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest will change this situation for the better.

As previously reported, Fabula Nova Crystallis is indeed planned as the company's second major polymorphic content franchise after the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. In addition to the PlayStation 3-based Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, as well as Final Fantasy Agito XIII for cellphones, more installments of the Fabula Nova Crystallis project could be forthcoming. Wada likened it to Star Wars or Gundam, and said that it would span a decade. While Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation Portable was generally believed the be the final installment of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Wada thinks the Final Fantasy VII franchise will be alive for two decades, meaning ten more years.

Despite all the talk about polymorphic content and established franchises, Wada mentioned that Square Enix also aims to strengthen its position as far as original games are concerned.

Chris Winkler