Square Enix had its annual earnings call this week, and the results have been instructive. In the financial results report for the first quarter of the current fiscal year, which is namely, April to June, the company appeared to suffer from underwhelming figures in many of its key business segments, with one notable exception.
Final Fantasy XIV's MMO division saw a decrease in both total net sales and operational income of 15.5% and 16.7% in Q1 2022, despite the fact that the company's HD games division did not meet expectations for previous years, and its mobile gaming segment found new entries unable to match existing titles' poor performances. However, the MMO division which comprises just three games saw a boost year on year, with a special mention given to Final Fantasy XIV's increasing subscriber numbers.
Square Enix stated in the study that there would be no plans to release any additional Final Fantasy XIV expansions this financial year, instead focusing on user retention through a variety of operational initiatives. The most recent expansion, Endwalker, came out in December 2021, and traditionally the major expansions have been released every couple of years, with some minor updates sandwiched between.
This would all seem to bolster the game-as-a-service business model, although HD games might bounce back to form in the remainder of the 2022/23 financial year. Although not included, notable July releases like Live A Live and Powerwash Simulator are noted, and the remainder of the year will see much-anticipated releases including Forspoken and Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion.