Business, Software Programs

Raiders of Square Enix Wreck Havoc as Profits Fall


The publisher of such popular games as Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy was hit with a double whammy. Hackers broke into several websites of Square Enix as they were releasing last year?s financial results.

Profits for the Japanese, Tokyo Stock Exchange traded company were falling while their users’ email addresses were heading for places unknown. Fiscal year 2010 net sales of 125,271 million yen (US$1.55 Billion) were down 34.8 percent from last year as the operating loss hit 12,043 million yen, approximately US$150 million. Adding to the company?s troubles was the discovery that Deux Ex, a promotional site for the forthcoming game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and as well as parts of their website were breached.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution scheduled for August 2010 release
Deus Ex: Human Revolution scheduled for August 2010 release

As many as 25,000 customers who had registered for product updates may be affected by the hackers who gained access to their email addresses. Hackers also may have gleaned the private information on resumes of people who had submitted their job applications to the Canadian office. Now would be a good time for those applicants to look into identify theft insurance.

Great expectations for Final Fantasy XIV OnlineSquare Enix stated that they "immediately took the sites offline to assess how this had happened and what had been accessed, then took further measures to increase the security of these and all of our websites, before allowing the sites to go live again."

All the sites are back up. In comparison, Sony?s PlayStation Network hasn?t been running since it was hacked over three weeks ago. Special computer forensic teams, including the FBI, are involved in investigating the source of that data breach. Sony gamers, however, can amuse themselves playing Final Fantasy XIV online while they wait.

At Square Enix, the excitement just doesn?t stop. Final Fantasy, which has sold over 97 million units worldwide; is also on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The Nintendo Virtual Console?s Wii will be getting its own version of ChronoTrigger, originally released in 1995. It owes its life to the script of Yuji Horii known for the Dragon Quest series, which has sold over 57 million units worldwide; and characters by Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball fame. The Final Fantasy team also contributed, while the game?s musical score came from Yasunori Mitsuda, a composer and sound engineer. Look for ChronoTrigger on May 16.