Physical game sales drive Sega profits for 2016

Sega has released its consolidated results for the nine months ended December 31st 2016, and its sales and profits are both up year-on-year.

Net sales rose by 16.6 per cent to 285.7bn (2.05bn) year-on-year, while profits increased by 462.1 per cent to 36.5bn (262m). As for Sega’s Entertainment Contents Business, which includes digital game software, net sales increased by 13.7 per cent to 155.4bn (1.1bn).

This is due to a growth in packaged game software sales, which saw a rise of 29 per cent year-on-year to hit 37.3bn [267m]. This sees Sega’s packaged sales finally overtake its digital sales, which stood at 28.9bn and 33bn respectively at the same period last year.

Sega’s digital games also put in a strong performance over the last nine months, but only grew 6 per cent year-on-year. However, digital still raked in 35bn [250m], with Sega forecasting that both digital and packaged game sales will hit 47bn [336m] in its full year forecasts.

On the digital front, Phantasy Star Online 2 and Hortensia Saga "performed solidly" while titles such as Sonic Dash continue to drive download numbers overseas.

Sega also noted that packaged game sales hit 8.13m units in the last nine months, which surpassed the unit sales for the same period last year. Sega attributes this to the launch of Football Manager 2017, and the launch of Yakuza 6, also known as Ryu ga Gotoku 6: Inochi no Uta in Japan, which both launched in Q3.

Yakuza 6 went straight in at No.1 in the Japan games charts when it launched last December, selling 201,211 copies in its first week. The PS4 exclusive isn’t due to be released in Europe until 2018, but the recent UK release of Yakuza 0 saw the title debut at No.8 in the UK charts for the week ending January 28th. This week, however, it dropped out of the Top 40.

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