Tomb Raider fails to reach sales target

Square Enix reveals latest Lara Croft title, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs all underperformed.


As part of its latest financial earnings report today, Square Enix announced that three of its big-budget titles failed to reach their sales targets.

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Tomb Raider has sold 3.4 million units worldwide since launch this month, Hitman: Absolution has moved 3.6 million copies to date, and Sleeping Dogs has sold 1.75 million units since its summer launch.

These figures do not account for digital sales.

Square Enix said despite a "high critical acclaim" for each title, sales still came up short. In particular, the publisher called its North American sales force "ineffective," noting that title sales in this region made up just a third of the number of units sold in Europe.

Another reason each game failed to meet sales expectations, Square Enix said, was due to price pressure being "strong." This forced the company to spend additional capital on channel costs like price protection.

Square Enix president Yoichi Wada announced his resignation today amid an "extraordinary loss."

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Avatar image for rmartinezdl

They just need to lower prices on digital sales, stop charging us fucking $60 overpriced, you charge $60 on retail because you only get 30% but on steam EG: you get 70% of the sale, so lower your fucking rpices and increase digital sales.

Avatar image for barrica

With the economics crisis all over the world. I don't understand how the gaming industry doesn't meet up under the same roof to look at the stats and analyse that by selling games cheaper can make studios make more money = - layoffs for ex: The new Call of Dusty is out on the same week as GTA V if both games are priced £60 each one of the company's will suffer if the game is released at £30 people will easily get the two. What i don't understand is consoles featuring an always online to catch hackers when none of those geniuses can work out that people who hacked their consoles did it so they can play all the games they cant afford. Do you think Bill Gates son would risk prosecution by hacking a PS3 so he doesn't have to pay for games?

Avatar image for Kasafeara

well the chances are its considered a failure due to the game may of not broken even (got the money they paid to create it), games of this scale cost a lot to make especially if its a call of of duty game which can cost over 200 million to make. All this is due to the big amount of people are hired to create the game in a short amount of time such as more commonly 1-2 years, licensing, copyright protection, rent for offices, living expenses such as electricity, water and clean bathrooms and a lot more.

Avatar image for rangeraa

I think the main problem is that games just cost too damn much now days. Personally, although I do quite well financially and have no problems paying $60 for a game, I know that many people out there cannot afford to do the same. One thing I refuse to do is pay insane prices for DLC shortly after release. Although the example game I'm about to give is off topic it proves my point. I recently bought Black Ops 2 and was offered a DLC pass that cost the same price I just paid for the game essentially making it $120 if I wanted to have a seamless multiplayer experience... This is insane and I absolutely refuse on principal alone to pay for it. Especially disconcerting was the fact that the first round of DLC came out so shortly after release.

In short, when dev's price gouge cash strapped consumers they run the risk of forcing consumers to limit themselves to only one or two games, or to wait until the price for the game drops significantly which in turn hurts their sales numbers. This is the industries own doing, and regardless of the quality of a game, it is bound to hurt all but the biggest blockbusters sales numbers.

Avatar image for gbernalesp

I think that saying that Tomb Raider is a failure implies that Square Enix have done very little analysis in this issue., because:

1) They haven't considered online downloads, which nowadays is an essencial sales channel,
2) It has only been a month since the game release
3) All the costs associated to game development, characters, technology, movements, etc, can be considered as an investment for the continuity for the franchise, therefore the future Tomb Raider games would have a considerably lower cost of production making them very easy to be profitable. They could release one title per year like Assassin's Creed, making the subsecuent games very profitable.

Considering all this I think the only explanation for Square Enix declaration is that they needed an excuse to change the CEO, and they blame it on an excellent game who already has sold millions of copies. I hope this doesn't stop the production of future Tomb Raider games.

Avatar image for rmartinezdl

also economy is bad, charging $60 for a game these days is crazy, watch ea goin down the toilet with theri $70 games, I pay $30 top for a game. so drop your prices and youll double the sales, even triple. look at cs go, torchlight 2

Avatar image for rmartinezdl

3.4 * 60 = 204 million dollars, wtf you are crazy if thats not enough, game was great, graphics were good, they did something wrong if 204 million is not enough for a game.

Avatar image for Shinobi120


They don't exactly get the full $60 off of each copy being sold, they get at least $27.

Avatar image for Kashmiro

@Shinobi120 @rmartinezdl Oh sorry $100 million dollars... the game made $100 million if that isn't enough something is wrong. This game has sold almost double the amount of copies as Heavy Rain, and that game earned $60 million after cover its budget.

Avatar image for DKant

Is anyone thinking that the reported numbers are "low" and that the difference between European and US sales maybe on account of digital not being reported?......

Why does that happen? Are digital sales so low as to not being worth reporting? Are they easier to hide from the taxman? What the hell is up?

Avatar image for asjflask

I think the recent Tomb Raider was great. There's only *one* problem I have with it though: the QTE (Quick Timer Events). Get rid of that in the next one and you can probably expect sales to soar even higher.

Avatar image for j_kizi

Last time i checked 3M and counting is good for sales.... unless your Activision.

Avatar image for Duncanidaho0107

@j_kizi This is the important thing in my opinion. What was the target they had? Maybe they set a unreachable target sales because 3M is a good number.

Avatar image for SuddenlySudden

It's no Uncharted. No surprises here. Moving on

Avatar image for mastretta

Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider are both Fantastic games, haven't tried out Hitman yet. It would be a shame if low profit forced them to stop doing them. Please don't, please sell more.

Avatar image for Darth_Kane

SquareEnix had REALLY REALLY high expectations if 3.4M is not enough

Avatar image for JPala84

Tomb Raider was a great game. I am surprised it didn't sell more. I am a big fan of the Uncharted series, and Tomb Raider is just as good.

Avatar image for thekey

That's alright TR is an excellent game! It will eventually sell more units as time passes.

Avatar image for vivalatour

TR is a keeper for me so I think there will be less trade-in and more new games on the shelf for those to buy later ! I kept TR & MP3 and got rid of Sleeping Dogs ...

Avatar image for deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

not surprised about Sleeping Dogs. People expected a lot from that and it was surprisingly forgettable(imo)

Avatar image for thekey

@Kickable Sleeping dogs made me fall asleep when I tried it out.

Avatar image for mastretta

@thekey @Kickable Whaaaat? I loved Sleeping Dogs. Too bad few people did too, It's fantastic.

Avatar image for deathblow3

@vivalatour no every one wants to do cod numbers then get made when they dont. this is a average amount for a good game in sales no one does 12 mill and 18 mill in sales these guys have lost there mind thinking that will change.

Avatar image for Dredcrumb9

A T rex and some raptors would have boosted sales.

Avatar image for vivalatour

I am really happy they did not put those silly monsters and such in TR the boss fights were the limit for the "over the top" ! setting was darn near perfect as is ...

Avatar image for happypanda53

you can put all the "expectation" on a game that you want, it doesnt mean that is going to reach that expectation. funny how 3.4 million units is deemed as a failure. all 3 games are excellent and worth your time and money.

Avatar image for thekey

@happypanda53 It's a failer because those greedy publishers want much more revenue.

Avatar image for Mickeyminime

I don't like Hitman so i can't say i'm surprised if it doesn't do well, i've never heard of sleeping dogs and for Tomb Raider, well although i've never played the original games, i wouldn't be surprised if people feared this new Tomb Raider would be awful. I only ever bought Underworld and this new one. I haven't completed it but i do find it pretty enjoyable. Sometimes annoying and boring, but none the less, enjoyable. I'm sure sales will pick up soon, but we live in a world where people don't earn enough and if there are other good games out, people will tend to pick the games they want most. Tomb Raider was the only game i bought since the beginning of this year as there are no other new games out there that currently interest me.

Avatar image for POOHINATOR

"These figures do not account for digital sales." yep that says it all, nothing to see hear move along.They are doing just fine. probably

Avatar image for DrowNoble

Gee 3.4 million in sales accounts for over $200 million and they think that is a "failure"? Of course revenue is actually higher than that due to digital sales (e.g. Steam). They can't be honestly telling us that Tomb Raider cost more than $200 million to make, heck only MMOs cost that much and there are only a handful that did.

Avatar image for jefferson1964

Tomb Raider is a good game, dont know about the others, but I never saw any of those games advertised on TV like I do with other like Halo, GOW, Bisoshock

Avatar image for andruxandd

@jefferson1964 yeah, right...

Avatar image for andruxandd

make some advertising on tv from all over the globe and the buyers will come...or maybe don't want to reach 5m...i bet on torents dw are more then 2m of copies...

Avatar image for wazzap76

Well when you rely on your western developers games to pay for the abominations that are final fantasy games now a days of course they are going to under perform. You can't expect games to be profitable and make up sales of their other failed games.. Squere-enix. How about make a Final fantasy game people actually want to play for once? I haven't seen one of those since FFX.

Avatar image for weetbix23


Final Fantasy games need to step up and Kingdom Hearts 3 needs to be released! I don't really understand why they are sucking so much these days with FF, 13 was the worst FF by far and it still got 3 games!

Avatar image for CrazyOldCracker

It says it doesn't count digital sales i wonder how many they sold digital because that's where me and most of my friends got all those games from was digital copies off steam. PS3 and 360 are at the end of there lives so there is know way we would have bought a physical copy for any of those.

Avatar image for tennebrae

Now, it would interesting to know the number of copies downloaded via torrents. I am guessing at least 6 figures.

Avatar image for weetbix23


That's just not true. I honestly do not think many people pirate these days just a quick search in torrentz show that the top torrent (skidrow) has like 5k seeds + peers for tomb raider. You can't really blame pirating for not living up to what square enix is doing with their fans. They will regain profits when they produce games that people actually want, 7 years later and I am still waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 !

Avatar image for DKant

@weetbix23 @tennebrae 5k is enough to keep a steady stream flowing. However buying games is so embarassingly easy these days, I still do think you're right. People either buy what they want or they don't. There are still losers who think pirating is perfectly fine, without realizing they're helping kill creators of the content they like. But in reality they wouldn't be in line to purchase the game if pirating it somehow became impossible - there are enough (free or cheap) forms of entertainment in the world for these people to not bother. Losses from piracy are EXTREMELY exaggerated in an age of one-click purchase.

Avatar image for CraigNinten

Its because the financial loss from other titles forced them to set an unrealistic sale expectation for these games, so its not like the games sold poorly, but more like they are having problem with a poorly decided business goal.

Avatar image for the_bi99man

I don't know about TR or Hitman Absolution, but I loved Sleeping Dogs, and I think it would've done a whole lot better if it was advertised better. The only commercials I ever saw for Sleeping Dogs were a couple really shitty trailers that didn't show anything worthwhile, and I only ever saw them during MMA fights my roommate would stream from some seedy website. And even after it was out, I was showing it to some friends of mine, and no one had ever heard of it.

Avatar image for punksterdaddy

@the_bi99man You saw much more adverts than I did on the game. My friends and I were the same as you, never heard a thing about it!? I went into a store and noticed the similarities between this title and the long overdue True Crime: Hong Kong.

When I got home I searched the net and discovered, it was in fact the same game! A few weeks later, I went out to buy it and to my amazement... The title was already reduced to £20?

That is just bizarre!

So I bought it and loved it. Sure the game feels a little outdated, it is really fun to play and I would love more such titles in the future. Sadly, due to the lack of publicity on this game. I could be waiting for long enough for another?

Avatar image for masterchief6380

Ive become very picky when it comes to games in the past few years, but I rather enjoyed Tomb Raider. Also, sometimes not selling a huge amount can be better for a series in general..but 3.5million is hardly a small amount.

Avatar image for wikkiwild1

I was skeptical when I first started the game but after I finished it, I liked it. I'll definitely get the next one.

Avatar image for andruxandd

Becausethere wereonly sold3.5m,do somethingonthosewho boughtthe gameand will notcontinue the story...guys, that's whythere ispiracy,becausecome withcraplike timenot even1m buying your game...

Avatar image for Shmiity

So, 3.5million copies isn't good enough? That's absurd.

Avatar image for SpazldNinjaDude

This is why you don't make a game look like the worst game ever made, and it actually be amazing.

Avatar image for DVONvX

I redbox all new games. I love Tomb Raider, but come on-$60? I beat the game in 5 days. I'm not going to pay $60 for any game that can be beaten in such short time. $60 for Skyrim or endless multiplayer fun on halo? Sure I'll pay up then. Games like Tomb Raider need to be cheaper than games like Skyrim or games with highly acclaimed multiplayer.

Avatar image for weetbix23


I agree, which is why i am waiting for a price drop!