Square Enix Expected They’d Ship 3.4M Copies Of Tomb Raider

Square Enix’s issues reported this morning (including high ranking resignations) can apparently be nailed down to – at least in a very general sense – the relatively poor performance of three key games, even though one of them is barely a month old.

According to financial statements issued by the publisher, Square Enix expected Tomb Raider would ship 3.4M copies, Sleeping Dogs would ship 1.75M copies and Hitman 3.6M copies. The figures don’t include digital sales, but include all other formats.

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It looks like none of those targets were met, “despite the high critical acclaim” and the Metacritic scores, also listed on the same document.

The statement, published here in full, clearly refers to “weak sales of big console titles in NA and EU” and also says (on the same slide) that the “NA sales force was ineffective, ending up with 2/3 of number of units sold in Europe.”

Clearly, then, Square Enix had lofty expectations for their big three games here in the west, that simply didn’t quite measure up in terms of sales.

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23 Comments

  1. It is expected that they actually did sell those numbers… which seems to be some way short of what they actually expected.

    Publishers seem to be backing projects expecting them to open with 5m+ sales then go on to 10m+

    It’s an extremely flawed way of thinking that has killed the midrange because everything has to be a kooky title costing 50p to make… else it’s backed with tens of millions and has to go on to rival CoD.

    Jaffe said it best “When selling 3.4 million copies of one of gaming’s best in YEARS = ‘missing the target’ then something be broken in this biz.
    Dear game publishers: adjust your budgets and STOP chasing CoD numbers. Not every album is Thriller, not every movie is Titanic. It’s ok.

    • Don’t always agree with Jaffe but he’s absolutely spot on with that one. :-)

    • Agree with this 100%.

  2. I’m really surprised Tomb Raider hasn’t done well for them, it’s a great game and i would have thought interest in it would be huge as it’s a reboot for a much loved series. Granted, it didn’t have as much tomb raiding as i would have liked but i think they’ll address that in the next game, now Lara’s done her ‘becoming’.

    • It’s all about balancing the budget with expected sales.

      If they pumped in x number of tens of millions then perhaps they needed 5m+ or even more to do well out of it.

      3.4m could be a success, if the budget was appropriate for that level of expected sales.

      • No doubt the new Lara didn’t come cheap. :)

  3. So how many did they sell?

  4. Hitman was a good game, for me as first time player it was awesome, I bought the HD collection, it’s very different from them. As for tomb raider no shock it didn’t hit the target the game sucks

    • I thoroughly enjoyed it. In what way did it suck?

      • Personally I know a lot of people say don’t go in there expecting uncharted like play but in reality it’s like a weak version of uncharted with a bit more option to explore. So far all I been doing is going back & forth, shooting rabbits etc it’s boring & also the MP has to be the worst thing since blink

      • For me it was a far more enjoyable game than uncharted. Lara was more believable and the story more interesting. The uncharted games are far too linear for me and drake isn’t a particularly likeable character, with the set pieces in tomb raider feeling more organic (except you sliding on your arse every 20 mins). But the same could be said for every time you make a jump in an uncharted game the pipe/wall/ledge crumbles/falls/breaks. It’s surprising the first time but not the 50th time in each game!

        I didn’t find uncharteds multiplayer particularly interesting either not having returned since I got the trophies. (Much better than tomb raider haha)

      • How can you say that, drake is unlikeable, Lara the new Lara her accent is so annoying I nearly punched the tv to get to her lol.

        I guess each to their own, I’m not that big on uncharted but between the 2, it is by far the better game, UC3 was linear I can agree to that but 1 & 2 was great, the setting made the game brilliant & it took the second try to make UC awesome. Can’t say much for how many times Lara had to be made to be awesome

      • Well why do you like Drake? He’s smug with a face you want to punch lol. Just a rip off of Indiana Jones but with the charisma of a bag of cheese & onion crisps. I’m not saying Lara is better but I don’t understand people’s infatuation with Drake.

      • Funny thing is how Drake’s Fortune ripped off the Tomb Raider series and now it’s come full circle to Tomb Raider taking points from the Uncharted series.
        Yet to play the reboot, but I’m not sure why Lara’s accent would be annoying, she’s British, makes it a hell of a lot easier to understand.
        I like Nate, although he’s arrogant, his character is witty.

      • Drakes never alone for long which offsets the fact he’s a tit and as much as i like the new Lara she does spend alot of time whimpering and talking to herself.

      • I’m with matt on this. The reboot felt very fresh and the setting, story and pacing was great. It was easy to feel for Lara and the excellent voice work made collecting relics and documents so much more enjoyable than simply checking for blinking spots for the heck of it.
        I just hope they sold enough copies to justify a proper sequel. We need more games like it and less generic military or space marine shooters…

  5. Giving away Sleeping Dogs to PS+ers wouldn’t have helped sales.

    • You don’t know how much they made from DLC or what % Sony paid them. I think it was a smart move as everybody who would have bought it already had.

      • DLC and what Sony paid helps bring the money in but giving it away doesn’t help when you have a copies sold target number to reach.

  6. Square had it sussed with their original line up of games, as did Enix. When they absorbed Eidos Interactive they managed to acquire a library of games they could release between the Final Fantasies and the Dragon Quests. This gave them more opportunity for regular turnover and more cash flow. It hasn’t. I might get a lot of backlash for this but Eidos Interactive (Core before them) failed to meet the mark towards the end of the PS2’s lifespan because these very same games no longer sell well. I’ve only ever bought one Hitman game and I didn’t enjoy it so I never bought another, with Tomb Raider I stopped enjoying it after the 3rd game on ps1 and Sleeping Dogs wasn’t advertised enough on television imo.

    Ditch the bitch Squeenix, the bitch being Eidos’ catalogue of titles….

    • They might have hit a slump during the PS2 era but the direction they’ve taken with Hitman and TR shows that they have very talented people working there. I’d say give them another chance. They’ve done a great job but aren’t appreciated enough… yet! :)

  7. Time for a new Deus Ex?

  8. Game just reduced Tomb Raider to £25 which will help in terms of numbers sold, as I know several people who have snapped it up (myself included). The store also said it was already their biggest selling game of the year so far (yes I know we’re only three months in), so surprised it dropped so quickly. I imagine these deals come from te publishers anyway trying to boost sales to meet these “targets”.

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