Disclaimer: this is going to be the least mathematical financial analysis you have ever read. Enjoy!
So I’m sure you’ve all lost loads of sleep poring over the finer details of Square Enix’s six month financial report(!) which appears to paint a somewhat negative monetary picture if you’re a shareholder / company exec / person who understands money. In short, Square Enix saw decreases across the areas of Digital Entertainment, RPGs, Amusement and Merchandising compared with the same period last year – that is, the six month period ending on September 30th 2018.
If you remember, the last six months have been fairly significant for Square Enix in terms of game releases, with the launch of the million-selling Octopath Traveler on the Nintendo Switch, and of course the final Lara Croft outing of the rebooted trilogy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Here’s what the report summary had to say…
In the Digital Entertainment segment during the six-month period ended September 30, 2018, we launched “OCTOPATH TRAVELLER,” a brand new IP, and “SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER,” the final chapter of the rebooted TOMB RAIDER trilogy in the console games area. Overall this sub-segment’s net sales and operating income decreased compared to the same period of the prior fiscal year.
Overall, Square Enix’s net sales for Digital Entertainment came to ¥82,800,000,000 which is the equivalent of $730,296,000 or £558,504,820 (you’re welcome.) And this is a dip of £130,178,500 compared with the previous year. Yes, yes. Nod intelligently and pretend to understand.
Does all this mean that Shadow of the Tomb Raider under-performed financially? It’s probably too soon to tell. Bear in mind that the game only launched on the 14th September, so it made a mere 16 day contribution to the financial results (if you discount pre-orders, that is) so I guess we won’t know more for another six months.
But to my uneducated eyes, it doesn’t look as if the sky is falling. Although that being said, I remember how much of a fuss Square Enix made when the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot sold nearly 4 million copies within the first three weeks of release, and “failed to meet expectations.” Hmm. (Mind you, the game had a crazy budget of $100,000,000, so it had a fair few units to shift…)
In terms of what’s to come, Just Cause 4 is due to release in December 2018, followed by Kingdom Hearts 3 in January, so maybe Square Enix will be able to issue a more positive financial report at the year end? And I can pretend to understand that as well.