VIDEO games helped shore up Sony in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as the conglomerate’s other divisions suffered shrinking revenue.
In its quarterly earnings report released today (covering three months from April to June), the Tokyo-based company reported a profit of 233 billion yen, or around $2.2 billion. In peso value, that's about P108 billion. Even in the middle of the pandemic, its income is an 81.1 billion yen improvement from the same period last year.
Much of the earnings came from Sony’s financial services division, and of course, game and network services. The latter earned 599 billion yen in revenue — a 157.2 billion yen increase year on year.
During this period, PlayStation released The Last of Us Part II, which became Sony’s fastest-selling video game when it moved 4 million copies during its release weekend.
The highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake was also released on April 10. That game, a completely rebuilt version of one of the most popular games of all time, sold 3.5 million copies in just three days.
Beyond the sales of its games and consoles, Sony also operates a paid subscription service that's tied to the PlayStation. With over 45 million subscribers in its PlayStation Plus program, the company is guaranteed a monthly income from membership fees. For their part, gamers can enjoy online multiplayer, as well as free monthly games to download.
With global lockdowns forcing people to stay at home, demand for video games has risen over the pandemic period. Together with video on demand and streaming, it's become a primary source of entertainment for many forced to stay at home.
Sony also runs a movies division called Sony Pictures, which suffered an 11.3 billion yen drop in revenue year on year.
The company warned that its movies division will likely continue to bleed for the next two or three years as movie theaters continue to be shut down worldwide because of COVID-19.
Also of concern is the company’s portfolio of electronic devices and cameras.
“Consumer demand for electronics products has also plunged, including sales of digital cameras, TVs and other gadgets,” wrote Yuri Kageyama for Associated Press.