If your net profit is positive, you didn't lose money.
Not entirely true; this kind of a naive way of looking at it. Net profit is before considering any dividends. Although the company didn't lose any money their shareholders sure did. Going forward, SE has to make a decision: how much of this do they reinvest, and how much to pay out to the shareholders. Either way, it leaves MUCH less in their coffers to not only cover expenses next year, but invest into R&D for future projects (including FFXIV).
So yes, they technically don't have a loss on their hands but that doesn't help the fact that they have almost 98% less money from the year than they were expecting.
This isn't nearly as much money as was lost, say, on FF:The Movie, or on the FFU franchise panning out.
Didn't the Spirits Within lose them like $110 million dollars (don't know the exact figure)? I wouldn't be surprised if FFXIV exceeded this in development costs. MMO's take much more money to develop then regular games. On last count I believe SW:TOR was up to $330 million spent.
On the other hand, it's also lost income down the road - SE's stopped the bleeding somewhat by some improvements and by pushing back the day when they start billing, but they still have a good ways to go before they can actually make some subscription money on FF14. Or put differently, SE can no longer plan on a good launch for FF14 on the PS3; if they don't move heaven and earth in between then and now, there's no way that they'll overcome the initial negative press that the game received. That's yet more money that they'd forecast but won't get, or at least will have to delay a while...
Agree with this. Even though they stopped the bleeding, it doesn't help that they probably lost (and this is completely speculation on my part) like 80% of their players following the launch. Not only that but without a healthy stream of incoming players (who would honestly recomend this game at this point?) FFXIV can only stagnate going forward (in the short run).
SE will REALLY have to turn things around for FFXIV to recover. And I really hope they make it work. I don't want to wait another 10 years for a FF MMO (if they ever go there again).