It's easy to forget sometimes that video games are a business, as well as a means of artistic expression and recreation. Even developers like Cave, whose sterling reputation is due almost entirely to its long-time devotion to the incredibly esoteric bullet-hell genre, have to make tough decisions in order to continue existing.

The Deathsmiles developer's fiscal outlook isn't shaping up to be quite what it had expected, and as a result the company will be placing unknown projects on hold in order to devote more resources to social gaming, Andriasang reports.

Originally expecting to earn ¥1.4 billion ($18.9 million) in sales between June 1 and November 30 2011, the company now anticipates earnings of ¥1.3 billion ($16.8 million), which has prompted Cave to change its forecasted operating gain of ¥10 million to an operating loss of ¥31 million for the period. Operational earnings for the entire year were lowered from ¥310 million to ¥50 million.

In a nutshell, people aren't buying as many infuriatingly difficult games as expected, which is surprising considering how popular masochism has become recently.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.