Tomb Raider reboot sells 4 million copies

Square Enix head of product development reveals new sales milestone for 2013 action game; Guardian of Light surpasses 1 million sales.

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2013's Tomb Raider reboot has sold over 4 million copies worldwide since launch, Square Enix head of product development Darrell Gallagher revealed in a new Gamasutra blog post.

He reiterated that Tomb Raider was the fastest-selling game in the history of the franchise and said it was the "most critically acclaimed title" ever produced by Crystal Dynamics.

Despite the sales milestone and critical plaudits, the game failed to meet Square Enix's sales expectations. Crystal Dynamics is currently working on a sequel for next-generation consoles.

Gallagher also revealed in the blog post that 2010's digital-only Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light has now sold over 1 million units across all platforms.

"This represents a great landmark for a digital-only release," he said.

Discussion

385 comments
1947gamer
1947gamer

OK here is the thing. I down loaded the free tomb from Xbox live that came with the pre-order from game stop. Now I just need to know how I can get to play it. Any advice?

WhiteStormy
WhiteStormy

And Final Fantasy XIII-2 is currently at only 2.39 million sales worldwide.  I wonder what SE's sales expectations were for that one.  I guess it doesn't matter because they couldn't wait to make a third one.

1947gamer
1947gamer

Before they were complaining about not selling enough now it hits a mile stone. Patience people word gets around.

Faustavus
Faustavus

4 million copies, yet you can't get into a single multiplayer game on steam.

ilagas88
ilagas88

it would be more profitable if they can create a sequel or an expansion of the game since they can just use the same engine. I think it would be ok to use the same engine as long as they add something new so that gamers don't get bitchy about it. 

DVONvX
DVONvX

charge $39.99 for the digital copy at launch and more people will buy. I redboxed this game for 15 bucks but would have bought it if it had been cheaper. 

nate1222
nate1222

The development costs are too damn high and the publishers' profit expectations are unrealistic. That's the AAA market for you.

And, if you bring up the mid-tier approach; better production than indie, lower dev costs than AAA, the big publishers won't even touch it.

At least in the PC scene there's room for mid-tier games: Torchlight II, Divinity II Developer's Cut, Killing Floor... The console makers won't even allow mid-tier games on their platforms.

toyo75
toyo75

The Tomb Raider reboot was a excellent looking game and was a joy to play.  Its developers certainly has a huge task ahead of them in order for a sequel to top it.

Sushiglutton
Sushiglutton

I wonder if gamers will ever get that the number of copies sold is a completely useless statistic if you don't know the average price/copy. TR has been on massive sale for months now. 

Liquidsky76
Liquidsky76

New Tomb Raider isn't exactly what i was expecting. Would love to see developers to finally realize what Tomb Raider was all about! It used to be an adventure game with a lot of puzzles keeping u in locations for hours struggling to find a solution. Now is easy go through game with hint buttons etc. Game looks awesome but is too short too easy.

kweeni
kweeni

When 4 million sales fails to meet your expectations, you know you're doing something wrong.

ecurl143
ecurl143

It's all about recovering the development costs these days and this latest installment cost an absolute fortune to develop, never mind the budget for the marketing campaign - that must have been truly staggering.

Even so, this game must easily be in profit now?

lostn
lostn

4 million is the top selling game in the franchise (Square still considers it a disappointment)? I'm surprised that back when Lara had boobs twice this size, the game didn't sell even more copies than this.

Z2k1
Z2k1

This begs the question: how bad must Square's financial condition be in order to be unhappy with this game's sales?

fluffy_kins
fluffy_kins

I'm glad they're making a sequel. I'll definitely be buying.

Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

I still don't understand how on Earth a company can expect to project its sales expectations so far above record-breaking highs for a franchise and hope to be profitable.  Isn't it simple economics to look at the sales for similar products and project them accordingly?   I'm glad the game was given such a big budget, the final product was breathtaking, but still... Seriously Square?

abnergoinbig
abnergoinbig

But does this mean SE has made their money back?

Kairysama
Kairysama

I loved playing every minute of this game my only problem was it was abit short (I mean unlocking everything and finding the collectables). Just make the sequel longer please.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Had no interest.  They ruined Lara Croft... again.  Crappy voice actor, character design, story.

She is not some weak woman.  She's a tough broad.  Look at the first two games.  It wasn't about pouting and being raped, it was about kickin ass with two desert eagles! 

bgna8980
bgna8980

They would've saved a lot of money, if they didn't include that abysmal multiplayer. I would've liked the game to be longer but it was really enjoyable already.

DaRq_MiNoS
DaRq_MiNoS

Please give us more of the same.  Except maybe make the puzzles a little tougher.  But I enjoyed the hell out of this game.

Also Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light was one of the best digital-only games I've played.  My friend Albert and I had a great time playing that for a couple days.  I'm happy to see it was profitable :-)

SopranosFan
SopranosFan

This is why the industry is struggling and NOT used games. 4 million sold and still a disappointment is just insane. Have realistic expectations, every game can't sell like COD and GTA.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@Faustavus everyones been playing the campaign.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@nate1222 their loss. Some class B games have more soul than the so called blockbusters.

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@nate1222 first of all what do sony/ms/nintendo have a say in this at all?  and secondly demons souls says hi.  its not the only one...

nate1222
nate1222

@Sushiglutton Yeah.

That's the problem with AAA games from the 7th gen (PS3/360) forward. The development costs are so freakin' high that selling 2 million copies at $60 a pop is only considered "breaking even". Then, you have the unrealistic profit expectations of these big publishers.

The AAA scene has become too high maintenance. It's eventually going to collapse.

lostn
lostn

@Liquidsky76 It's a necessary evil. They need to cater to a wider audience to maximize sales because costs of development go up. 

 If they removed the button that greys everything out and highlights all the things you can interact with in gold, that would make the game much harder and take longer to solve the puzzles. As it is, I find myself constantly tapping that button as I walk (Q on PC). Most of my game is black and white... but it saves me time. 

 If I actually had to look carefully for things I can interact with a miss a bunch of them, then a whole lot of people who aren't experienced gamers would give up. 

nate1222
nate1222

@kweeni The development costs are too damn high and the publishers' profit expectations are unrealistic. That's the AAA market for you.

And, if you bring up the mid-tier approach; better production than indie, lower dev costs than AAA, the big publishers won't even touch it.

At least in the PC scene there's room for mid-tier games: Torchlight II, Divinity II Developer's Cut, Killing Floor... The console makers won't even allow mid-tier games on their platforms.

MadCat221
MadCat221

@lostn Ah, so you're one of those "Only Mary Sue Female Characters Allowed" feminists, eh?  Where a female character is "strong" only if they show a completely inhuman level of intestinal fortitude and emotional integrity?

toyo75
toyo75

@lostn For a game to be called profitable, it usually has to earn twice the amount it cost the developers to make that game and market it. There is also the problem with the loss in profits software companies suffer from piracy.

MadCat221
MadCat221

@DrKill09Ah, so you're one of those "Only Mary Sue Female Characters Allowed" feminists, eh?  Where a female character is "strong" only if they show a completely inhuman level of intestinal fortitude and emotional integrity?

Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

@DrKill09 You are the worst example of someone speaking of a game they know little of.  And for the record, getting "raped" (which she wasn't) is certainly not a "weakness".  That goes for any woman.  The Lara in this game is tough as nails, even if she gets wounded along the way.   

Radnen
Radnen

@DrKill09 You missed the point of the new TR then; how'd she become so badass? Also now shes more human than ever before. I like the new TR.

fenzl
fenzl

@DrKill09 I have the entirely opposite point of view. I had zero interest in the old tomb raider games. The new character design is fantastic (especially her looks).

nate1222
nate1222

@leviathanwing @nate1222 Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo set the standards for what can and can not be released for their consoles via license fees. AAA for retail, indie for digital, little or no room for mid-tier.

PC doesn't set a standard for what can be released for it. tTus, mid-tier can and does thrive on the PC platform.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@leviathanwing @nate1222 

Honestly, I would say Demons/Dark Souls and Metro: Last Light are exceptions to the norm rather than the norm.  I feel like Nate is right, and that PC is the scene where non AAA games have their strongest bases and that publishers seem to hate mid-tier nowadays.

I can understand that a bit given the costs and risks of anything that's not a huge hit franchise, because one failed game may lead to bankruptcy, but I still feel like it's a shame.

Sporks_Calamity
Sporks_Calamity

@nate1222 I wouldn't say collapse, more like limited. But you're right though. AAA budget is close to that of most Hollywood movies. 

Liquidsky76
Liquidsky76

@lostn @Liquidsky76 Maybe it's just me but i simply miss old style games that used to be on ps1 etc. and although i agree with most of what u were saying i'm happy that Mercedes, Ferrari, Porshe never decided to start making crappy products just to make them affordable for more audience.And i would rather pay more for a game that keeps me busy and entertained for weeks than 10 pounds less for 12 hours of playing. But it's just my opinion.

lostn
lostn

@MadCat221 @lostn I'm not quite sure to what you are referring to about strong females, but in the old TR games Lara had massive boobs, and it's a fact that sex sells. So I'm a bit surprised that those games didn't sell better than this.

I'm no feminist. And this TR game has a disconnect between gameplay and story. She is coming of age... starts off frightened, unable and unwilling to kill or hurt anyone. Her first kill shakes her up mentally, even her first animal hunt. But once I got a weapon, she become the ultimate head shotting machine.

nate1222
nate1222

@toyo75 @lostn Dude, the piracy argument is very, very tired by now. If 4million people bought this game, I highly doubt there was a bunch of piracy going on.

It's the staggering development costs and the big publishers' UNrelistic expectations. It's a disease of the AAA market as of the 7th gen (PS3/360 era).

lostn
lostn

@toyo75 @lostn Piracy has been there since the beginning of time. It's not new. Others deal with it, so can Square. If a game needs to sell 8 million copies to be profitable, I'd say it was a bad decision to make a game that expensive to begin with.


How will they cope with PS4 development where games will cost even more to make? Will they need to sell 16 million copies to turn a profit?

danusty
danusty

@Radnen @DrKill09 maybe the point of the whole TR series is that she has been a bad ass since the day she was born and not some kind of weakling

lostn
lostn

@Liquidsky76 @lostn Ferrari and Porsche don't sell as many cars as Toyota, but they make a killing on each one they sell, because their target demographic is wealthy. They charge more for their cars and make greater profits on each one sold, so they don't need to sell as many as Toyota who make their money on volume sales but less profit per car. 

Games don't have that luxury. A game that decides it wants to sell to a hardcore audience instead of a wide audience doesn't get to charge more for the game. The price is the same, but the audience will be less, so they must widen it as much as they can. You can call it selling out, or a betrayal, but at the end of the day, it's simply a business reality. 

 By the way, Mercedes's new A-class is aimed at the Golf audience.. it's the cheapest car they have ever made, and is actually priced for a much wider audience than they are used to targeting. They want a piece of the pie that VW have enjoyed. This has prompted Audi and BMW to price match the new A-class, leading luxury German brands to compete with the lesser badges and are actually cheaper than some of those cars. The Golf in turn has had to cut its price also. The market is changing. 

MadCat221
MadCat221

@lostn

I think this ended up replying to the wrong thread.  It was some idjit thinking that because Lara wigged out at some of the crazy stuff she had to do in TR2013 that she's somehow a "weak female character" (such as reacting as any normal non-psychopathic person having just committed their first homicide would).  The kind that thought that Korra fretting over realizing she's in waaaaay over her head in Legend of Korra Book 1 makes her a "weak" female character.

nate1222
nate1222

@toyo75 @lostn Show this article.

Because...CD Projekt Red owns GOG; a DRM-free (no copy protection) games site. If they were that worried about piracy, they wouldn't be selling their games -as well as others'- DRM-free.

Once again, we get baseless claims

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@nate1222 @toyo75 @lostn tell that to cdprojekt... im pretty sure they stated that at least 1/4 of the copies of the witcher 2 were pirates copies.  or are you going to call them liars too?