In yet another indication that traditional videogames publishing isn't in the rudest of health, Square Enix has recorded a 5.7 billion yen (£39.1 million) loss for the nine month period ending 31st December 2012 - down from a profit of 5 billion yen (£34.5 million) in the same period in 2011.
That's despite a rise in sales of 7.4 per cent year-over-year to 102.8 billion yen (£705 million). Square predicts that it will return to profit by the end of the business year on 31st March, presumably off the back of Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot in particular.
The publisher pins the blame for this on the "sluggish performance" of arcade machines in Japan and sluggish console game sales in general - declines which have yet to be offset by rising revenue from social networks, phone games and PC.
"During the nine-month period ended December 31, 2012, the Company has not recovered the operating loss posted in the six-month period ended September 30, 2012, primarily due to the increasingly difficult condition of the world-wide console game market, under which the Group is struggling to achieve a fair expected return on its investment," reads a Square Enix statement.
Moving forward, Square Enix intends to redouble efforts to convert existing licenses according to changing consumer tastes. "The Company views the expansion of content and services that conform to emerging customer needs led by the fundamental change in the business environments, and the launch of full-scale commercial services for major MMO titles will establish its profit base, and is focusing all efforts on an earnings recovery from now on."
For the 12 months ending 31st March 2013 the company predicts a sales rise of 17.3 per cent year-over-year to 150 billion yen (£1 billion). Profits, however, will apparently decline 42.2 per cent to 3.5 billion yen (£24 million).
Where do you think the firm behind Final Fantasy should go from here? Ta, CVG.