Can Final Fantasy Still Save Square Enix?

In the past, whenever Square Enix released a new Final Fantasy, things were a-okay. Yet, in 2010 the Tokyo-based game maker released two, and things are anything but.

In late December 2009, Square Enix launched Final Fantasy XIII in Japan, and the title hit the West in 2010. The game is the fastest selling title in the company's history, moving over 5 million copies.

In fall 2010, Square Enix released its new online title Final Fantasy XIV. The game seemed undercooked, the reaction was negative and the release was bungled, eventually leading to apologies and the game's designers getting the boot.

But even the mighty Final Fantasy cannot save Square Enix, with the company seeing a 76 percent dip in profits during the year. The reason for the hemorrhaging was due in part to high value of the Japanese yen as well as the number of big titles released in the previous calendar year (Dragon Quest IX and FFXIII). It was also due to how all games performed and their short shelf life, not to mention things like the delay of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

"Consumers are getting more selective, and there's a big difference between games that sell and games that don't," said Square Enix honcho Yoichi Wada, adding that the game maker is rallying itself to make titles that consumers want to get. So no Mind Jack 2, then?

Later this year, Square Enix is releasing a new Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy XIII-2. But no doubt, Square Enix (and players) are thinking that the eagerly anticipated Final Fantasy Versus XIII cannot come soon enough.

スクエニ、円高為替差損30億円直撃 4~12月期76%減益 [MSN産経ニュース]