Square Enix recently reported a loss for the April to December 2012 period, the first loss since Square and Enix joined forces back in 2003. There are several reasons why this situation, but MSN Japan fingers a specific offender for the financial slump: Dragon Quest X. The upkeep of the Wii-exclusive MMO's servers is partially to blame, and it sounds as though DQX isn't meeting sales expectations either, even though Square Enix reports "steady progress."
This news strikes me as more than a little odd, considering the game's performance thus far. Released in August, DQX has sold over 630,000 units through the end of December. While that may sound lower than the millions that the franchise typically sells, remember that an MMO's success hinges on subscription retention. The game had broken the 400,000 subscribers mark by the end of October, a feat which took Final Fantasy XI -- the most profitable Final Fantasy ever, mind you -- roughly 18 months to achieve.
Considering that Square Enix claims that the game is still growing, I can only assume that the studio was hoping for even more physical sales or a larger percentage of subscribers. It's hard to guess exactly what SE was hoping for, but DQX has already recovered it's dev costs and will continue to generate revenue through 2013. And despite the slow sales of Wii U software, the Wii U version of DQX, expected in March, will likely line SE's pockets even further.
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