Sqaure Enix today released its 2017 annual report, giving an overall status quo for the publisher and some hints about the company's future. One part of the report points to Nier: Automata as exceeding company expectations, having solid sales alongside titles like Final Fantasy XV, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
"In addition, Nier: Automata, which we released in February 2017, has proven a global hit far in excess of our expectations. It has not only reminded the world of the high quality of Japanese games, but also demonstrated significant potential for future franchise development," said the company.
In an earlier release, the company noted that Nier: Automata has shipped 2 million copies worldwide. In the annual report, Square Enix noted that 30 percent of Nier: Automata's purchases were digital, which is up for the company.
"Gamers are significantly moving away from purchasing packaged games and shifting toward digital downloads. In North America, more than 20 percent of purchases of Final Fantasy XV have been via digital downloads. The global download rate for Nier: Automata has been even higher at over 30 percent," said Square Enix in the report.
"Higher download rates help in a significant way to improve profitability on HD game sales. Mega publishers in the West have greatly improved their profitability via strong promotions of digital downloads. However, our own efforts in this area have not been sufficient, and we still have significant scope to improve our margins by bolstering our digital sales rates."
Given how Nier: Automata has surpassed Square Enix' estimates, it's not surprising to see that company hiring for a Nier-related future project. The publisher recently put up a recruitment page for Business Division 6 for Nier, with statements from NieR series director Yoko Taro and NieR series producer Yosuke Saito. BD67 has previously worked on Dragon Quest Heroes and Bravely Second, and is currently collaborating with Acquire on Octopath Traveler, but this page is for Nier staff specifically.
PlatinumGames co-founder Hideki Kamiya previously noted that Nier: Automata's success saved the company, so hopefully Platinum is involved in further projects.