It looks like Square Enix has found some new ways to make money.
Traditionally, the Japanese publisher and developer depended on big, triple-A games to bring in the majority of its earnings through sales. However, during a three-month period that ended on June 30, Square Enix managed to post a profit of 3.4 billion yen (about $33 million). This was during a time that the company only had one notable release, Murdered: Soul Suspect, an adventure-stealth game that critics and fans met with indifference.
So, where is that money coming from? Square Enix states in its financial report that massively mulitplayer online role-playing games like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Dragon Quest X have “been making favorable progress.” These require a monthly subscription fee to play. Square Enix also released an arcade cabinet based on the popular mobile hit Puzzle & Dragons.
It also says that games released during the last fiscal year continue to sell well. We know that Bravely Default, a role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS, just passed the 1 million-copies-sold mark, so it’s doing well after its U.S. release this February. Square Enix also singled out Japan-only mobile games Dragon Quest: Monsters — Super Light and Schoolgirl Strikers in its financial report.
Square Enix doesn’t really have any notable triple-A releases coming in the immediate future, with the anticipated Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV both seemingly years away. The company will have to continue to rely on past releases, subscriptions, and mobile games if it wants to continue to post profits.