Tomb Raider sales fall short, Eidos shares plummet

Underworld's 1.5 million units sold worldwide fails to meet publisher's expectations; stock price drops 30 percent in response.

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Eidos' troubles continued today, as the publisher formerly known as SCi announced that sales of Tomb Raider: Underworld have failed to meet its forecasts, selling only 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Eidos said difficulties in the North American market were to blame, with "retailers restricting inventory levels and triple-A products being price discounted above expectation." Due to the drop in demand and worries of ongoing price discounting in the US, Eidos has lowered its full-year revenue forecast by £20 million ($30.39 million).

The news caused shares in the company to plunge 5.25p ($.08) to 12p ($.18) in early trading this morning. Shares in the group skyrocketed at the tail end of 2005, reaching highs of 500p ($7.59), but have been in steady decline since; the company has lost 74 percent of its value in the past year.

The games industry, generally expected to weather the recession better than many sectors, has seen a multitude of job losses and bailouts, despite strong sales at retail. EA announced the layoffs of more than 500 staff back in October of last year (later doubling that figure), while Midway is still trying to settle its $150 million debt. More diversified companies, such as Sony and Microsoft, have also felt the pinch, embarking on vast restructuring plans, though the effect of these changes on these firms' gaming businesses is not yet clear.

Despite the gloom, Eidos remained positive about 2009 with the launch of the forthcoming game Batman: Arkham Asylum, stating, "We are working closely with DC Comics and Warner Bros. and through our strategic partnership we are benefitting from cross-promotional opportunities including the first video trailer for Batman: Arkham Asylum featured on all DVDs of the movie The Dark Knight this Christmas."

Discussion

519 comments
rbp15
rbp15

great game sad to hear this.

Paul_GameFury
Paul_GameFury

They tried to blame retailers restricting inventory levels and price discounting? Every store I have been in had plenty of copies and the game is sold to retailers at a set price. It's up to the retailer what to sell the game for, but the still pay the same amount to the manufacturer. The only reason the game didn't sell was because everyone knew it was more of the same. I'm not saying it was a bad game; it just didn't do anything new to make more people want to buy it.

veteran_gamer
veteran_gamer

if this would have sold at 29 bucks a pop, they would have seen a better return. but old, over-fed & payed FAT cats are far too greedy to think in volume, the thought of not screwing the consumer and making 3 or 4 times the amount of money it costs to develop and distribute a product makes them crazy and homicidal. With time, these dinasours will die off, and younger, more reasonable, open minded and decent human beings (hopefully that is) will take charge and learn to decrease profits but last 2 or 3 more life-times. These guys are gonna go down soon, I wouldn't give them past 2012. It's not like they didnt have 100's of chances to get on the ball. r.i.p.

Darkman2007
Darkman2007

price of games nowadays is crazy, i remember games being £25-30 a decade ago. now games range from £35- £45, which is just asking a bit too much that extra money means a lot, I appriciate games cost more now to produce but thats why many are multiplatform. the recession isnt that bad for game sales, in fact, during the recession, people stay indoors more and.....play video games, which equals more sales.

snooker8th
snooker8th

Not a bad game. Prob wouldnt buy it unless it came to the store for $30 though...

DEATH775
DEATH775

Cause making better graphic cost more.

snarple_basic
snarple_basic

Far as I'm concerned its that ugly $60 price tag that is preventing this from selling. Why can't developers realize that when your making a strictly 1 player game there is no way a gamer is going to think its got $60 worth of game play. If this game would have came out between $40 - $50 I think we would have seen more copies sell. What makes games like this need an extra $10 price from our last gen PS2 games??

frazzle00
frazzle00

@thatboyjay "when you do the math, it's about 25,000 units sold. " And what math would that be? " i should wait til 2010 to release it's game on purpose. " What in the world are you talking about? "and most importantly, hire a screenplay writer so make it a good story!" Ah the irony :P.

thatboyjay
thatboyjay

when you do the math, it's about 25,000 units sold. that sucks. i should wait til 2010 to release it's game on purpose. also, some of the graphics don't look good when she bends. and most importantly, hire a screenplay writer so make it a good story!

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

Yee I'm not too suprised on that, I downloaded the demo a couple days ago and playing it almost made me sleep, I'm a prince of persia fan, games like that should be easy for me!, It was one of the most fustrating games ive ever played! and i agree with frazzle, uncharted and tomb raider are two comepletely different games, If anything id say uncharted is far better by the mile

frazzle00
frazzle00

People who compare Tomb Raider titles with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune have either not played both games, or are intellectually challenged. I loved Uncharted, and I am also a big fan of Crystal Dynamic's Tomb Raider games. They are however completely different. With Uncharted the focus is more on combat than on actual platforming. The platforming sections are few and far between, and very simplistic. Not that there is anything wrong with that, since the combat is awesome (like Gears of War), and the 2 leads very charismatic. With the Tomb Raider titles, the focus is squarely on platforming. You spend the bulk of each of the Tomb Raider titles figuring out how to traverse the huge (and in the case of Underworld, very intricate) levels. Combat in Tomb Raider titles plays a negligible role at best. I personally would recommend both Uncharted and Tomb Raider: Underworld, unless you have something against excellent third person shooting, platforming or both. If not check the games out. Chances are you won't be disappointed.

frazzle00
frazzle00

I'm glad GameSpot changed the title of this article. Their previous title "Tomb Raider Sales Tank" was completely inaccurate.

Solid_Azeus
Solid_Azeus

resurrect Raziel from Soul Reaver and bring back Thief instead!!!

ralphikari
ralphikari

I see GS changed the headline. Smart call.

snoop_rogg
snoop_rogg

I loved the tomb raider series, and have bought every single one until this one, because they favored one system over another, so I'll pass until I see it for 15 bucks on the Target Clearance End Cap.

pure_impact
pure_impact

Tomb Raider shoulda been dead years ago! It takes more than big breasts to sell games nowadays Eidos!

Media_Mind
Media_Mind

o, Tomb Raider has a replacement already, "Uncharted" series!!!

snake289
snake289

Damn Underworld was ok but it was pretty disappointting maybe its time for Lara Croft to retire...

gandalf_storm
gandalf_storm

i enjoyed the new tomb raider game, as I have done with all TR`s, except the pretty awful PS2 Angel of... one, I see peeps whining about autolock, ffs do you want a fun game or serious strategy game like rainbow six, its meant to be fun, emphasis on the platform/puzzle rather then shooting action, I`m also looking forward to the new batman game, if its even half as good as the films I`m in. Footnote to all the whiners:- Why so serious ? :)

mutley89
mutley89

love how people happily swallow another batman game but want tomb raider to be over, games can be an embarassment sometimes.

FAcorp
FAcorp

I think this is the last of Tomb Raider so, rest in peace Lara Croft.

DAAVV-O
DAAVV-O

Like Khoofia_Pika said below, Uncharted has done the Tomb Raider style better than Tomb Raider.

capt_karem
capt_karem

Lara's fifteen minutes are up it seems. Cant wait to see her in Playboy....and then maybe on the psychic friends network.

mvlbr
mvlbr

Eidos should just go out of business cuz they haven't had a decent game in ages.

mattcake
mattcake

I dont have a problem with the puzzle solving stuff in TR, but why the same weak, tired gunplay in every damn game? What is fun about aiming a gun that auto locks on, makes the most weak, pathetic noise ever when it fires and using some pointlessly simple slow-mo one-shot-kill bullet time attack over and over. Leave it out entirely, or let us aim the guns ourselves - any game that auto locks on, including gta4, makes combat a joke imo. Kinda knew the new TR was gonna suck when every video showed Lara in a wetsuit... this aint 1998, takes more than some T&A to sell a game now guys :)

epross
epross

I played the original tomb raider on PC way back when...My wife recently bought me Tomb Raider Underworld for PS3 and after playing for a few hours - I can see why sales are lackluster. Compared to other PS3 games TR seems to lack polish and somehow seems "rushed" like the first chapter on Lara's boat - you can't move around on the deck or explore the whole thing - she bumps into invisible walls - a sure sign that they didn't program more to the environment. Couldn't they have done something to make this less obvious. There are other parallels while swimming underwater, etc. My other remark, is other than the eye-candy (are Lara's boobs even bigger this time out?) the game-play doesn't seem all that radically different that the original PC version. Still, I am having fun with it, but Dead Space, Star Wars the Force Unleashed, and Fallout 3 are all more fun IMHO. Maybe TR is a tired franchise, but I don't think so, what they are doing with it is tired. They need to breathe some fresh life into it and make a major departure from past programming if they want to keep it going. Maybe a prequel game...yeah that's the latest trend isn't it?

jimbob_1977
jimbob_1977

Maybe Eidos should do the same as EA and do a franchise review and finally kill of TR and get some fresh IPs out to gamers....and I hate EA :O

sirvampalot
sirvampalot

Someone needs to pull the plug on Eidos before they ruin any more games.

mforbesy
mforbesy

Tomb Raider - Underworld is not bad but its just the same old same old. Its good but its just not worth $60. It just seems common sense to me that not all games should sell for $60. They should range from $30 to $60 depending. Lets compare a slice of piping hot apple pie and ice cream to an apple and a glass of milk. Both are good but I wouldn't pay the same for them. Who wants to pay for a Lexus and get a Dodge. Not me. By the way you can buy the same Tomb Raider game for pc for about $30. Go figure.

generaltom
generaltom

Eido's strategy has always been to make the most minor improvements possible, and it's no surprise people just don't care anymore. The Hitman games have never really overcome their problems and realized their full potential since the first one, and Kane & Lynch was pretty crappy too. Hopefully this sends them a message that people want better quality products for their $65.

JJpenguin
JJpenguin

do they really expect tomb raider to sell THAT well?

Carpe_Noctum
Carpe_Noctum

1.5 million is pretty good. After the HORRID PS2 game this seems like a good recovery number.

professorXzaver
professorXzaver

Ha Ha Ha Eidos you ed-i-ots. I looked on the trailer for Underworld, and said Holy C.... is that what the graphics will look like, sooo realistic??? And then the game finally came out, and we all saw that it was the same c... game that you have been making for the past 10 years. With little to no graphical improvements.

Stec13
Stec13

This is too bad the newest Tomb Raider game was incredible even with the sometimes buggy camera. I sure look forward to Arkham Asylum though!

esqueejy
esqueejy

let the Tomb Raider series die...they killed it with the crappy, repetetive games and by making those horrible movies of it it's time we as gamers start demanding more innovation anyway...the same thing released over and over with a different spin and a different skin (even across games, not just within the same series) is the reason games get hyped to no end and then turn out to be garbage

dkell2
dkell2

Bring on some Legacy of Kain! Do we really need a new Tomb Raider every year? I can't beleive this last one sold 1.5. They've put out so many stinkers in that series. Makes them hard to trust.

Hillsy_
Hillsy_

I think it is the combat which lets Tomb Raider down. Personally, I would introduce a cover-target system, popular at the moment; for gunplay. I would also have acrobatics combat too, similiar to how she is now, only with off the wall moves etc,, Have areas where gunplay is required and other areas where acrobatics is needed in the combat. I would also introduce more hand-to-hand combat, close combat. Most of the running, jumping, spinning etc is fine.. I feel it is the combat which needs to be improved. I didn't think Underworld was a bad game, I think it just needs improving, adapting.

traykey1
traykey1

another series that should call it a day i think,the quality just aint there anymore.

Psycold
Psycold

kinda crazy that selling 1 and 1/2 million copies of a game is considered sub-par

childofrock11
childofrock11

As a die hard TR fan i enjoyed Underworld...but that is because i'm a TR fan... I agree that something new needs to be brought to the table. If not then one of Gaming's legends will go down the drain. There were many old school fans of Resident Evil were pissed that it changed so you can pretty much say that Capcom lost alot of long time fans, but in the process they rejuvenated the series and caused it to be placed on the top of gamers' wish lists once again. Business is about risk. You cannot expect to do the same thing and your profit to increase. You have to cap out somewhere. If you want to either continue to keep your profit at this level or maybe push it a bit higher then you have to take a risk....just like capcom did....

caocca
caocca

I'm up for the wet shirt content.... that would make by a tomb raider. Or what about a chapter in a hotters like bar?

convince73
convince73

i wanted to like the new game but could not. they could have made a better game.gamers buy well made games stop doing the same thing over and over try to bring something new to the table.

khoofia_pika
khoofia_pika

tomb raider sucks. I like uncharted better.

Frimmel
Frimmel

I picked up Underworld as a long time TR fan and on what I thought were strong showings with Legend and Anninversary. I don't mind 'same old-same old.' I do mind their not correcting the myriad of technical faults. The same formula is fine but you have to do it well. They didn't with Underworld. The game feels unfinished. I had intended to buy Arkham Asylum sight unseen but at minimum I'll wait for a review.

tyzwain
tyzwain

It is a good game, I enjoyed it and I'll be getting the next one too.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

It sold more than a million. There are better games that dont get to that figure. As for Tomb Raider. Its the same game physically as the previous Tomb Raider games. You cannot attract new gamers to the franchise by retaining the core gameplay, you can only retain the fans you have from the previous ones. Capcom realized that when they changed the Resi series to the style of Resi 4. Even though I loved the old style. New players were attracted to the series with the Gears of War - style camera and intense atmosphere...and its the new players that a series needs to survive. Most of the old players adapt to the new style.