Square Enix reported increased profits in its latest financial year, with game sales also seeing a slight but noticeable rise largely thanks to the explosive popularity of Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker.
Net sales across all of Square Enix's divisions increased from 332.5 billion yen last year to 365.2 billion yen in the year ending March 31, 2022, with profits in particular up from 26.9 billion yen to 51 billion yen.
The company's digital entertainment section responsible for games reported a smaller increase from 263.9 billion yen in sales to 279.6 billion yen. This is actually more impressive for Final Fantasy 14 when you break down where that increase came from.
Square Enix separates its game sales into three parts: MMOs, HD games, as well as browser and mobile games. As the company notes in its latest annual report, HD game sales declined slightly year-on-year seeing as how the previous financial period saw the release of big-hitters like Marvel's Avengers and Final Fantasy 7 Remake (even if Square Enix did say that the former was disappointing). Mobile and browser game sales, meanwhile, increased by 2.9 billion yen – an extremely small gain compared to the segment's previous growth of 21 billion yen.
It was Square Enix's MMO segment that showed the biggest increase, up to 62.2 billion yen over 39.8 billion yen the previous year – a full 56% jump, and a significant chunk of the company's overall sales gains. This segment includes Final Fantasy 14 and Dragon Quest 10 Online, both of which received new expansion packs in last year's Q3. That said, Square is quick to note that Final Fantasy 14 was the major breadwinner.
"Net sales rose year on year at the MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) Game sub-segment due not only to a sharp rise in the number of monthly paying subscribers for 'FINAL FANTASY XIV,' but also to the release of an expansion pack for the title," the company says in its report, referring to the well-received Endwalker expansion.
This popularity should come as no surprise seeing as how Final Fantasy 14 was pulled from sale due to overwhelming demand sparked by Endwalker, which put excessive strain on the game's servers. A whole new Oceania server was needed to help divide up the new players and get the game back on digital stores.
Interestingly, Square Enix also reported a noteworthy boost for its publication section covering digital and print media sales, including manga. Anyone who's come within half a mile of the anime community in the past six months will have heard about My Dress-Up Darling, and it seems the anime's popularity also boosted sales of the manga, which is published by Square Enix. The anime only finished airing a few weeks ago, but Square was already seeing "significant popularity" for the manga at the tail end of the financial year, which suggests sales will likely continue to rise. Between this and Final Fantasy 14, it's safe to say that anime fans carried Square Enix this year.
As we said in our Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker review, the MMO's latest expansion cements it as one of the best MMOs of all time.