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Monster Hunter Rise for the Nintendo Switch. Image: Capcom

Video game publishers Capcom and SquareEnix did very well last year, according to newly released financial reports.

Why it matters: Gaming companies in Japan are no longer as dominant in the global industry as they used to be, but some of the bigger players have been doing well, fueled by big releases and intense gaming interest during the pandemic.

Some highlights:

Capcom, which reported operating income of $318 million for its just-concluded fiscal year, is expecting further growth this year, on the strength of the red-hot "Monster Hunter" and "Resident Evil" franchises.

  • Its back catalog remains strong, with 2017's "Resident Evil 7" selling more copies last year than the year before.
  • 2018's "Monster Hunter World" is now at 17 million copies sold worldwide.

SquareEnix, reported operating income of $431 million, up 44% from the prior year.

  • The company was able to compensate for the poor performance of its disastrous fall 2020 "Avengers" game.
  • Game downloads were hot, especially in North America, where that number rose to over 38 million units sold compared to the prior year's 24 million.

Sega Sammy, which also includes game maker Atlus, recorded just $59 million in operating income, down sharply from the prior year.

  • Its video game sales were up, but its pachinko and resort businesses were big losers due in part to the pandemic.

As for Nintendo: It posted record earnings last week for the company's "Animal Crossing"-fueled fiscal year, though noted in a new Q&A released over night that the big boat blocking the Suez Canal in March "caused some delays in the transportation of products bound for Europe."

Go deeper

New York Times subscriptions continue to trend toward non-news products

Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The New York Times on Wednesday said it added 142,000 paid digital-only subscriptions last quarter, 65,000 of which were for its non-core news products, like cooking, games and audio.

Why it matters: It's the highest percentage of non-core news subscriptions that The Times has added in its history. The Gray Lady has leaned more heavily into non-news products in recent years to offset news cycle turbulence.

3 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.

GOP congressman forfeits committee seats after indictment

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) on Wednesday stepped down from his committee assignments after being indicted for lying to federal investigators amid a probe into illegal campaign donations.

What they're saying: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Fortenberry said he is "grateful for the outpouring of support from my friends and colleagues as we work against the injustice confronting me."