Square Enix blames bad year on FFXIV

And a "weak" console performance.

Square Enix is blaming a bad year on a "weak" console performance; the "continued delay in billing" for embattled MMO Final Fantasy XIV Online; the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan; and the write-off of goodwill - i.e. companies bought by the publisher now not being worth as much.

Square Enix lost 12 billion ($148 million/90.6 million) during the year ending 31st March 2011. Sales were down 35 per cent on financial year 2010.

The gaming high points were Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2, which each sold one million units.

"Our Group experienced significantly lower sales and profit during the fiscal year mainly due to weak performance of console game titles released during the year as well as the impact of a continued delay in billing for a key online title, which was newly launched during the year," commented Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada.

Final Fantasy XIV Online has been beset by difficulties since its September 2010 launch, causing Square Enix to waive the subscription fee while the game is fixed. Square Enix is hopeful the game can recover, but whether a competitive MMO market will be sympathetic remains to be seen.

Eurogamer awarded Final Fantasy XIV Online 5/10, and tracked down the game's makers months later to find out what went wrong.

Nevertheless, there's promise on the Square Enix horizon, mostly due to Eidos' strong catalogue of IP. This includes Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Tomb Raider, Thief 4 and Hitman: Absolution.

Square Enix also has Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3 and Xbox 360 posed for release this year. There's the the imminent reveal of Dragon Quest X on Wii to look forward to, too.

Final Fantasy XIV Online.

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