Square Enix's efforts in the massively multiplayer arena are pulling in just under one million paying subscribers in total, across three of its MMO offerings: Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy 11 and Dragon Quest 10.
The publisher confirmed its numbers in its end-of-year report this week, stating the games have maintained a solid revenue base for the company.
"Three major MMO titles - Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn which began operation last August, Dragon Quest 10, which was launched in August 2012, and Final Fantasy 11, which has entered its thirteenth year of operation-maintain nearly 1,000,000 paying subscribers all together, and have established a solid revenue base," reads a statement from president and representative director Yosuke Matsuda.
In 2013, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn reached more than 1.5 million registered users worldwide; however, at the time it was still unclear how many of those 1.5 million users are actively playing the game, as opposed to those who registered in its previous life.
"For the fiscal year ended March 2014, we actively reformed our development policy and organization system," writes Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda, "focusing on our European and North American studios, and simultaneously worked on earnings recovery through our existing lineup. Sales of console game titles, including Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, Thief (Europe and North America only) and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, were better than our original plan."
Square Enix in 2015
Looking forward, Matsuda says 2015 will be split into three key sections. The first will revisit long-term and large-scale development, looking specifically at structural flaws in the company's disk-based sales model.
"One major approach we are currently taking is to apply variable pricing models, such as F2P (free to play) games, to the HD games area. We are already introducing such models and have achieved success in several cases," continues Matsuda.
"Last year, platform providers began to promote content delivery services based on the F2P model, in addition to conventional paid content sales, for newly-released home game consoles. Promotion of online HD games based on this new business model is an important pillar of structural reform for us as well, and we conducted a large-scale review of both our HD games development and our European and American studios, in preparation for this course of action. The list of titles that have been announced is still limited at present, but we will be introducing new HD game titles featuring variable pricing models."
Square Enix will then look at development possibilities on smart devices following the success of Dragon Quest Monsters Super Light and Schoolgirls Strikers.
Then finally, the company is looking to develop product portfolios tailored to local cultures and lifestyles.
"Alongside this trend, the process of game development and distribution are also expanding at an exponential rate. The series of activities in the games business process-procure funding, prepare the development environment, develop games, distribute and sell the finished games-has previously been possible only for major publishers with large-scale funding. However, the shift to ‘open source, low-cost game development tools,' ‘fundraising through crowd funding' and ‘direct sales via download' have created an ecosystem in which large-scale funding is no longer necessary."
You can read the full Square Enix annual report here.
Correction: Square Enix's annual report was released on March 31, 2014, when the company's fiscal year ended. We apologize for the error.