It was only a year ago when Square Enix seemed like it hit the breaking point. Stocks were low, money was leaking, and a lot of people were being reshuffled or losing their jobs. A year later, all that is in the past with the company once again showing promising profits and revenue.
During its recent earnings call, Square Enix boasted a strong 6.5 billion yen ($65 million) in net income for its total fiscal year, confirming that it has made more money than it lost in the 2012 fiscal year when it posted a 5.75 billion yen ($56.72 million) loss.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the biggest reason for this success with over 2 million registered users enjoying the game and that number still on the rise. It's one of the best MMORPGs over the last several years, some would say better than The Elder Scrolls Online, and seeing such a classic Final Fantasy inspired game succeed to such heights brings me nothing but joy.
Square Enix also pointed to Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Thief, and Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remaster as "favorable." Hopefully this means that Final Fantasy XII will be getting an HD treatment as the company said that it would do so if Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster proved to be a hit. Well, Square Enix? Your move.
Rather than Final Fantasy XII, the Japanese company instead teased two other major projects for 2014. Square Enix emphasized the importance of "large-scale online titles developed by Western studios" and stated that at least one would be on the way. So much for regaining focus and going back to the company's roots, but I'm expecting we'll find out more at E3. Is it talking about Just Cause 3 perhaps?
The other game it teased for 2014 indeed does tap into the Enix half of its roots as the company said it was "considering" Dragon Quest X for a release in the West. We've got our fingers crossed for a "yes," but Square Enix also failed to mention that it was "considering" localizing the Nintendo 3DS remake of Dragon Quest VII. Hopefully, this already means it has made the decision to do so and we can expect to see it at E3.
Also absent from Square Enix's praise was Bravely Default, which managed to be a surprise hit for the company selling 200,000 units in the first month and outperforming its major RPG release Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Maybe it just doesn't want to admit that it was wrong about the little game and overlooking its demand, or maybe it's just Nintendo's job to report the success considering how it took localization and publishing rights for game off of Square Enix's skeptical hands.
Either way, the game has clearly opened up Square Enix's eyes to the demand for new JRPGs in America, making it probably one of the most important releases of 2014.
It's great to see Square Enix recovering and getting back into the swing. With a solid development plan for future Final Fantasy games in place and what seems to finally be a firm grip on HD hardware, I think we can expect to see it fully operating on all fronts once again in the coming years.