Poor Tomb Raider has finally turned a profit

Tomb Raider became profitable at the end of 2013; will presumably be boosted by launch of Definitive Edition on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider launched to critical favor at the start of 2013, but Square Enix has previously said that it was disappointed that these high review scores didn't translate to big sales numbers.

Publisher Square Enix expected the game to sell at least five million units in its first month on shop shelves. But the actual number came in far lower: just 3.4 million. The news also arrived at a turbulent time for the publisher, with the departure of president Yoichi Wada and an admission from the company that it would be making an "extraordinary loss" for the financial year.

But perhaps that doom and gloom is now over, as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC versions of Tomb Raider have made a profit. One that will only presumably be boosted when the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition hits stores later in January.

"By the end of last year--Tomb Raider is in the black," said executive producer Scot Amos in an interview with Eurogamer. "We've crossed the line of profitability for the last-gen and PC versions."

Amos also insisted that Square Enix had supported the developer, despite what the publisher said in its financial reports. "They've always been behind us, regardless of maybe what was said or how it was said in the press, and certainly at the end of the year we've actually gone over expectations because we've managed to get profitability back."

Reflecting on that initial sales expectation (did Square Enix really expect the game to sell upwards of 5 million copies in a month?) Amos also pondered the change sweeping across the industry.

"I think that, as far as realistic or not, what the market can bear... It's a very interesting time. How many people can sell games like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush and make that kind of money? Or Minecraft's sales? Expectations can get shifted so quickly it's difficult to know what realistic even means anymore."

"And, looking forward, clearly Square and Crystal are invested in the franchise. So, despite how it was said, what was said--we had a lot of people scratching their heads and asking about it--we're very happy to say that from a partnership internally, we're committed to it totally. Square Enix talks about it as a key franchise, so we're very happy with where we're at."

Square Enix confirmed last year that a Tomb Raider 2 is currently in the works, and a comic series, penned by Birds of Prey scribe Gail Simone, will bridge the gap between the first and second games. Hang in there, Lara!

Discussion

272 comments
trackles
trackles

Thats because as i have said before, not everything is instantly a call of duty, stupid game devs.

armin-kaza
armin-kaza

title should had been profitable after 2 million sales it had a budget of 100 million dollars. they did not sell it at 20 a pop.

soulless4now
soulless4now

The title is amusing because I just remembered Martin's playthroughs of the older games. lol 

Doddie
Doddie

what is this that every game has to be multiplayer.  No way will I take part in a multiplayer game.  So boring to listen to some one brag, swear, belittle etc. I really think there should be two releases one single player, one multiple player then we could all have a great entertainment day.

jark888
jark888

Operating its business like EA and Capcom just lead to the same consequence. I'm talking about microtransaction here. The prove is that it doesn't only effect one particular tittle; it effects all that fall into the same category. 

Creed02
Creed02

I loved the reboot.. 

themc_7
themc_7

I won't be picking up my definitive edition until the price drops. I don't want to fork out $60 for a game that I've already played.

I-am-Error
I-am-Error

'Poor' Tomb Raider? What's with the condescending headline?

vannacut
vannacut

the power of animated hair!!!

DrowNoble
DrowNoble

Sad when the company thinks "only 3.4 million" sold is a "failure".  At $60 a pop that's over $200 million in sales that 1st month.  Good grief how much more do they want?


If I had to make a complaint about the game it would be the pointless multiplayer.  Seriously devs, some games can benefit from it and some can't.  I don't think there were a lot of TR fans that were saying "gee Lara is great but I really wish I could Tomb Raid in multiplayer".  As a result the single player game was rather short (my clear was 11 hours).  If they hadn't wasted time on the multiplayer they could of expanded the single player game more.

sma3
sma3

let's just hope that, the campaign mode  is a bit longer.......... for the next TR game of course 

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

This game would of sold a lot more it had T-rex, Giant Crocodiles, and raptors. The main reason I didn't buy this game is the lack of cool enemies. 

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

Just a couple more remakes of this Tomb Raider game marketed at $60 and Square will have their profit margins!

Penguinlord1
Penguinlord1

Awesome game, played on PC, looked amazing and was extremely optimized, ran like butter. Definitely a game I'll replay sooner or later.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

Alright first off, the sales expectation for Tomb Raider were of course stupid and I feel used to offset the losses at Squarenix and use it as a scapegoat. " Yes we here at squareenix really screwed the pooch with this company but everything would have been just fine if only TR would have sold a ridiculous 5million in a month... so it must be TR fault not us" 


While TR was a very fine game- it was a little short, tacked on online features a gag, and over all more time and resources (online) could have been spent on the main game. But again it was still an awesome game. But 5 million, where have SE and eidos been the last 15 years. After TR3, the tragedies these companies put out turned off many of the TR fans, angel of darkness still leaves my stomach churning. The last couple of games 7th gen consoles have been a refreshing return to roots, but the franchise is still far and away what it was back during the psone days. 


Batman arkum origins sold 3.5 million and it was an incredible game returning that franchise back to the heights not seen since SNES batman returns. Oblivion sold 2 m first month and Skyrim sold 7m first month, Bioshock INfinite sold 3.7m and Borderlands 2 6m. Who does Square enix projections? did they really truly feel a rebooted franchise is going to squirt out 5million copies after they screwed their fans for the last 15 years. 


I think capcom resident evil franchise should take a long hard look at itself, RE6 sold 4.9 million but after word of mouth sold hardly anything after. No matter how good the next RE game is - those burned by re6 will shy away if they ever come back. Tomb raider sold so so at first 2.6 m but picked up and as seen above has sold 5million. Again, word of mouth, that the game is good is what helped sales the most. 


The problem is publishers and developers do not want to make great game franchises that takes teams of talent, funds and time which garners customers /fans by the millions. No they want to make that crappy game that took nothing to make but sold millions. They want to make Disneys Cars, that cost nothing to make but sold better than anything that fall just by fan name alone. Instead of garnering fans they hope to trick them out of money - with DLC, great commercials, movie tie ins. They do not want games like Skyrim they want clash of clans, candy crush. 

tightwad34
tightwad34

I still have this game unopened along with about 6 others. My plan was to get through those until Dark Souls II came out and then when I had my first round of fill of DKSII I would get a PS4. But that's not gonna  happen anytime soon. I am about halfway through Xcom enemy within and I am not going to rush through a great game. I also have the new Disgaea unopened which isn't a week long playthrough. I guess it's a good problem to have. But I am going to get to Tomb Raider when I beat Enemy within. I am eagerly anticipating Tomb Raider seeing how I have never played any of them and this one looks to be very good.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

$60 for the Definitive Edition is going down like a puke sandwich right now. I understand they have put some work into it, but the fact it was $15 new at Bust Buy for the older systems makes that a really awful value.

guitarist1980
guitarist1980

One of the best games of .. 2013 or 2012 I don't remember. I really liked the game a lot and will surely purchase a sequel. I wonder if Tressfx will be enabled for the ps4 and xbox one. I liked it better than the uncharted series.. better cinematic experience and gameplay for that matter. I couldn't have asked for a better action adventure game. It had everything pretty much.

ilovelctr
ilovelctr

The last time the number was updated, it was 4 million copies sold already. I've really had enough of these pieces of news saying "Tomb Raider has failed". It just isn't funny to repeat what a dumb publisher said to the media again and again...

Wej_accept_it
Wej_accept_it

3.4 million in one month is still great, especially for a reboot with a female character.
And hell, it's still a higher number then the amount of Wii U consoles sold in a year!

88Metallica
88Metallica

I sure hope so! I'e already pre-ordered and paid it off. I hate to say it but I don't think people took it all that seriously becasue the female character is the protagonist. Such a shame, because it is a really good game. I would put it on par with Uncharted.

2Black2Strong
2Black2Strong

Amazing game and I love that they took chance and succeeded. Now they have a foundation and I cant wait to see what they build on to it. I expect a bigger and open environment for the future

Hardcoreehb
Hardcoreehb

Even after reading this, some people will still illegally download the game.

catach
catach

Excellent game! Best animation that I saw...

franzito
franzito

So Tomb Raider not tumbled? Guess SQEX only needs a new installment to make "more profitable"?

sepir
sepir

Have to love Steam 75% off sales. I'm playing through this game now and am loving it (I could never get into the old ones). Glad it finally turned a profit. I'll definitely be looking at the second one.

DAOWAce
DAOWAce

Square Enix do not understand publishing.

Ludicrously unreasonable goals; thinking they can compete with the most anticipated releases of the year like GTA and CoD. Spent hundreds of millions on marketing with their forecasted sales figures; complain the game failed when it sold extremely well.

I just hope they haven't canned projects they think are 'failures' based on their absolute idiocy, if not utter arrogance.

thekingofirony
thekingofirony

Glad i bought a copy on the black friday sale on Amazon.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Oh, poor Lara! Stranded on an island full of bad people and getting injured and Worst Of All - not being profitable until now.

AwkwardTurtle42
AwkwardTurtle42

That's good. What was with the massive sales expectations anyway? It got mostly positive reviews from both critics and users yet until now was somehow still considered a disappointment by Square Enix. Of course we want it to do well but Square Enix and other publishers out there have to realise that not every game will have COD-level sales. Assassin's Creed and FIFA are probably the only games that can.



EXODYS
EXODYS

Glad they're making a profit, I liked this game :) .... Well, I could've done without the QTE's, but still a good game :)

kye-mc
kye-mc

Boringggg game, where is the epic gameplay and exploration tomb raider is known for?

beamme
beamme

I played the game late last year and for the most part really enjoyed it. It seemed to have a lot of love (and not to mention, money) put into it so I'm glad that it seems to be working out for them at last. I'd definitely be up for playing a sequel as well, so long as it does enough to change things up and is not just more of the same.

themc_7
themc_7

@I-am-Error it was an amazing game that didn't sell very well. Most games become profitable in a couple months, this Tomb Raider game took almost a year.

themc_7
themc_7

@DrowNoble  "At $60 a pop that's over $200 million in sales that 1st month.  Good grief how much more do they want?" The gaming world has changed. To us, $200 million is a lot of money, but nowadays devs spend hundreds of millions to develop games. Because they spent so much to make the game, 200 million barely made them break even. 


As for your Multiplayer comment, I couldn't agree more. No one played TR for the multiplayer. I believe they wasted valuable time creating the MP, instead of focusing on the SP. The SP was great, but it was kind of short. I played MP for a couple hours and then I was done with it.

J-007
J-007

@guitarist1980 I think if it weren't for Uncharted then Tomb Raider could have been worse but thankfully the reboot has come and taken from the idea of Uncharted games I think has helped them. I do however miss the classic Tomb Raiders and but now feel better for Uncharted at the moment. I respect the fact you still prefer Lara and her journeys but nice to keep a legend around

danusty
danusty

@Wej_accept_it well, considering how expensive the game must have been to develop, considering the main female character is "lara croft", considering the game is pretty much the same as that other sony game that sells extremely well and considering the wii u is way more expensive, 3.4 units sold might not be a big number at all

Aleperez75
Aleperez75

Or buy an used copy which doesnt help the developer either

Skrilla_XS
Skrilla_XS

@AwkwardTurtle42 Look at it from a profitable standpoint. Critics reviews doesn't technically put money in the pockets of Square Enix. With the money invested in Tomb Raider, they were hoping to get that back from sales. It basically took all of 2013 to get back what they put into the game. Which is rather surprising considering how short the game was and the popularity of Tomb Raider. I think their problem was they put too much money into the game, maybe too much tech in TressFX that nobody cared for and other little technical forays.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@EXODYS QTEs are interactive movies. Story based games tend to have them. Only the odd game like Uncharted makes simple fist fights QTEs, but people seem not to mind them despite how mediocre the games are.

danusty
danusty

@beamme more of the same is usually what this types and most types of games usually do

guvnafuzz
guvnafuzz

@J-007 @guitarist1980 I think Tomb Raider expanded on Uncharted's style of play, which to me is why it didn't feel like a ripoff. They added an open world and light survival aspect to it, but still maintained a tight action adventure pace. I think Uncharted will have to evolve for it's next installment.

AwkwardTurtle42
AwkwardTurtle42

@Skrilla_XS@AwkwardTurtle42That's what I meant. If critic/user reviews are mostly positive then it seems like the game being bad isn't the issue here since the reviews were generally good. So the problem might lie in other areas like putting too much money into certain features like you said.

beamme
beamme

@danusty @beamme 'kay, but y'know some sequels take their time to update, refine, add or otherwise change up mechanics, that was in the first game, in later installments.


I could very well see them not change much about how you played the game going forward, which is exactly why I qualified my statement of being interested in a sequel by saying "so long as it does enough things to change things up". I believe it is very possible to change enough things about a game like this to keep it interesting to me, and not just add some new environments and a story. If they don't change it enough in the follow up though, then I'd be less inclined to play it. That's all I'm saying.