Japan’s big console game maker, Square Enix, slips into a loss

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Japan’s Square Enix, best known as the publisher and developer of the Final Fantasy video game series, reported that it slipped into a loss for the three-month period ending June 30.

The Tokyo-based company said today that it lost $26.3 million in the first fiscal quarter, compared with a profit of $8.8 million a year ago. Sales for the quarter were ¥24.914 billion, or $317.2 million, up 1.6 percent from $312.3 million a year earlier. Sales from the quarter came from Doragon Kuesuto Monsutāzu Terī no Wandārando (Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D) on the Nintendo 3DS system. Sengoku IXA and Final Fantasy Brigade also contributed to sales of games on PC and smartphones.

The losses show that few companies — even one of the biggest in Japan — are immune to the cyclical downturn hitting the core video game business. While it’s a small loss, Square Enix says it is actively making investments in a sizable pipeline of new titles in development.

For the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, Square Enix is forecasting sales of $2.1 billion, up 29 percent from $1.63 billion a year earlier. Net income is expected to be $114 million, compared with $77 million a year earlier. The budget outlooks are unchanged from a prediction made on May 14.