Kingdom Hearts III has shipped over five million units worldwide, becoming the franchise’s fastest-selling instalment in history.
The milestone – which includes both physical and digital sales – has been smashed just days after the game’s launch on January 29th, 2019. The highly awaited sequel has got off to a flying start, debuting at the top of the UK weekly charts. It sold almost as much as Resident Evil 2 did on its first week and – comparing it to previous entries in the franchise – Kingdom Hearts III’s launch sales were up an impressive 363 per cent compared to 2017’s Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and up 157 per cent compared to launch sales for 2006’s Kingdom Hearts II.
In an open New Year’s letter last month, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has detailed plans to explore potential new services, adapt rapidly to new platforms, and expand "aggressively" in overseas markets. Reflecting on the "unpredictability of future developments in the regulatory landscape for games in China" – suggesting the message was written before the lifting of China’s recent publication ban – Matsuda said Square Enix intended to "pursue a global strategy that involves building collaborative and cooperative relationships" beyond Chinese publishers and developers, aligning itself with many "business alliances in regions other than China".
Square Enix released its financial results for the six month period that ended on September 30th 2018 – and it was not looking bright for the Japanese firm. Net sales were down 15 per cent compared to the same period last year, while operating income plunged 61 per cent year-on-year to ¥10bn (£67.5m) compared to last year’s ¥25bn (£173m).
Following the release of this financial report, Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy XV’s upcoming DLC, due to launch throughout 2019, was being cancelled, with Hajime Tabata resigning from Square Enix and Luminous Productions. In a statement, Tabata said: "I was able to gain so much experience with my time at Square Enix. Every title I was able to be a part of means a lot to me. However, Final Fantasy XV stood out from that group as it was a special project for me which I went all-in on."