As players begin to enjoy the a wealth of new content within Eorzea today, Square Enix has quietly launched a different kind of update, which shows a revised outlook of the company's performance this fiscal year ending March 2011.
See how their numbers have been affected, and what role Final Fantasy XIV plays in all this, after the jump.
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In the "Notice Concerning Revised Performance Forecast" released December 16th, Square Enix has painted a much more somber picture of how the 2010-2011 fiscal year is expected to turn out.
Sales were adjusted from 160 billion to 130 billion yen. Operating profit, which measures money earned from directly from Square Enix properties minus costs, was adjusted from 20 billion to 8 billion yen. Ordinary profit, which adds in outside investments, was adjusted from 20 billion to 6 billion yen.
Now, this brings us to the bottom line (literally) -- the column for net profit. The revised forecast shows net profit of just 1 billion yen, which is a 91.7% decrease from their initial prediction of 12 billion. This is also a significant drop from Square Enix's net profit last fiscal year, which the document indicates was over 9.5 billion yen.
While the document does list a few explanations, such as "a major title receiving harsh criticism," the reasoning behind the revised forecast also focuses on FFXIV specifically, stating that the title was not up to customers' expectations of what a Final Fantasy title should be. It then details that as a response, Square Enix has restructured the development team and plans to offer free playtime until, as Wada promised us, a concrete plan is formed. This is written as being the driving factor behind the sharp downturn in their forecast.
Anyone who has been following the brief history of FFXIV so far probably would also have put the blame squarely in the MMO's lap. As was indicated in the revised forecast, CEO Yoichi Wada recently made a personal appeal to players and offered free playtime "until we are able to confidently present [the customers] with a concrete plan outlining FINAL FANTASY XIV’s new direction." Now we can see just how serious a sacrifice Square Enix is making to keep their flagship MMO title afloat.