Square Enix’s financial results show growth for the Japanese publisher, but not in the way you’d think. While its MMO and mobile sections are surging, its marquis console titles have fallen by the wayside.
The financial report covering the six months up to September 30, 2019 shows growth in most areas, but for its HD games subsection (games that aren’t mobile or MMO), there was a decline year-over-year in net sales.
Square Enix attributes this to a lack of major new titles over the past six months; its biggest sellers were Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition for the Nintendo Switch, and the Xbox One release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster.
But more notably, Square also attributed the decline to weaker sales of back-catalog titles. “Weak additional sales of titles launched last fiscal year led to operating loss,” says one slide of the presentation. This would include games like Just Cause 4, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Kingdom Hearts 3.
While this doesn’t mean those games didn’t sell well initially-they did, with Kingdom Hearts 3 making the cut for NPD’s best-selling of the year several times-they didn’t have a very long tail. It seems like those who are buying Square Enix’s biggest console games are getting them at launch, or not at all.
The good news is that Square Enix has some real winners to look forward to, with Romancing Saga 3 is out very soon, the Trials of Mana remake is on the horizon, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake is sure to be one of 2020’s biggest games. This is likely just an off-period for Square Enix, and at least it has Final Fantasy 14 to bolster a quiet time for its single-player games.
In the meantime, if you haven’t checked out the Dragon Quest 11 port for Switch yet, read up on why waiting for it come to Nintendo’s handheld was the right choice.