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SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall

This document (Adobe Acrobat format) offers an outline of a briefing from SQUARE ENIX about their revisions to their Consolidated Results Forecasts for the fiscal year ending March 2013. This includes a clarification of how the new Tomb Raider reboot managed to fall short of their sales goals in spite of setting a franchise record. Though the game sold 3.4 million units out of the gate, apparently they were expecting it to double that, projecting 5-6 million sales in an estimate they still felt was a conservative 80-90 percent of how the game would actually perform. Apparently their optimism was based on the expectation that the game would score highly on Metacritic (which it has, averaging 86 across three platforms), which would significantly boost sales, which it hasn't. They thought there were being similarly conservative in their sales estimates for Sleeping Dogs and Hitman Absolution, and were apparently similarly optimistic instead, as each of those games also fell short of their projections. Thanks Eurogamer.

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51. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Aug 24, 2013, 13:03 RollinThundr
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 09:31:
Why don't games sell more.. mhhh....

I think it is a question of "taste" more than anything. Look at Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider and Hitman Absolution a while, and tell me. Is it not the same game style? Sure there are differences, but from an genre point of view, these 3 games are more or less identical.

Secondly, lots of other games sold during that period. And gamers don't buy games every month, most gamers I assume, have 2 or 3 games they specifically want over a year.
Thirdly, Sleeping Dogs was a new franchise, Hitman was a ruined franchise (now more than ever) and Tomb Raider was not exactly alive and well either.
Fourth, Kickstarter is eating into gaming sales as well.. not sure how much.

And last. These games have 0 replay-ability and arrived on the end of an console cycle.

I think, or I believe, I have no real way to prove anything. That most gamers are not binary. Most gamers see these 3 games and think "meh" let's wait for reviews, more gamers watch let's plays first. More gamers ignore these 3 games because they wait for.. dunno.. a certain game to come out. Saving money for a new console or TV..

And finally, there IS an economic crisis and it WILL start to come down hard on sales.



But that said, I think we Gamers here generally over-estimate how many people PLAY GAMES with dedication, and care about AAA games (especially those 3). I think 1 million sold copies is already a HUGE friggin success by any measure. And if the industry can't be profitable with that, it is going down.

QFT, especially the bolded part.
 
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50. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 14, 2013, 22:22 Dev
 
Protip:
If all your games are falling short of projections, maybe you want to adjust those projections. Either you and your games suck (in which case your projections are too high anyway), or your projections are just too high.
 
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49. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 10, 2013, 17:14 PHJF
 
2007 best-selling (to date) franchises:

1. Mario (Nintendo): 193 million

2. Pokemon (Nintendo): 155 million

3. Final Fantasy (Square Enix): 68 million

4. Madden NFL (Electronic Arts): 56 million

5. The Sims (Maxis/Electronic Arts): 54 million

6. Grand Theft Auto (Rockstar): 50 million

7. Donkey Kong (Nintendo): 48 million

8. The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo): 47 million

9. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega): 44 million

10. Gran Turismo (Sony): 44 million

11. Lineage (NCsoft): 43 million

12. Dragon Quest (Square Enix): 41 million

13. Crash Bandicoot (Sony/Vivendi): 34 million

14. Resident Evil (Capcom): 31 million

15. James Bond (Various): 30 million

16. Tomb Raider (Eidos Interactive): 30 million

17. Mega Man (Capcom): 26 million

18. Command & Conquer (Westwood Studios/Electronic Arts): 25 million

19. Street Fighter (Capcom): 25 million

20. Mortal Kombat (Midway): 20 million

If you were semi conscious at all during the heyday of PSX you'd know how big Tomb Raider was.
 
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48. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 10, 2013, 12:32 Verno
 
BitWraith wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 10:52:
Verno wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 10:42:
Source for what exactly? The Uncharted 3 numbers or that Tomb Raider used to be a big franchise?

For "Tomb Raider used to be one of the biggest franchises in gaming." Biggest is probably a stretch. Big, sure.

It is unquestionably one of the bigger PC franchises given its relative popularity and popular culture awareness over the past fifteen years. Bigger doesn't have to mean sales but even those are pretty impressive considering how small the market was for the majority of its lifetime. Square-Enix still had unrealistic expectations but that's not exactly out of the norm for the Japanese side of the company, they've been guilty of that with many of their own projects as well.

My opinion is that Tomb Raider suffered from continual rebooting which has damaged the brand and the most recent entry appeared at a bad time in the gaming industry in general. This will go a long way toward addressing that in the future though hopefully.
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
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47. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 10, 2013, 10:52 BitWraith
 
Verno wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 10:42:
Source for what exactly? The Uncharted 3 numbers or that Tomb Raider used to be a big franchise?

For "Tomb Raider used to be one of the biggest franchises in gaming." Biggest is probably a stretch. Big, sure.
 
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46. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 10, 2013, 10:42 Verno
 
Source for what exactly? The Uncharted 3 numbers or that Tomb Raider used to be a big franchise?  
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Fall, The Walking Dead, Leon
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45. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 10, 2013, 08:58 BitWraith
 
PHJF wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 17:48:
I don't know how young you people are, but Tomb Raider used to be one of the biggest franchises in gaming. How else do you think it ended up with a bunch of Angelina Jolie movies?

Uncharted 3 has, to date, pushed over 5 million... and that was PS3 exclusive. I'm no industry expert but personally I blame platform age for Tomb Raider's "shortfall". My PS3 library isn't going to get any larger short of something really amazing; I didn't even buy GoW4.

Source? Because all the press releases I just found on Google are saying "Tomb Raider Launch Best in Franchise's History"
 
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44. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 9, 2013, 20:18 HorrorScope
 
JediPunisher wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 16:40:
Tomb Raider sold 3.5 million units... amazing numbers for this type of game. However, 5-6 million wasn't an unrealistic number, if Lara Croft was nude.

And had an explicit lesbian scene. They'd done that, they'd had their numbers. Chicken bawk bawk.
 
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43. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 9, 2013, 20:17 HorrorScope
 
Creston wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 12:31:
To summarize: Square Enix's suits don't understand shit about the gaming market.

Creston

BitWraith is probably right. They knew darn well what to expect, but they can't go public with doom and gloom. They pray of a scenario that all will be ok. Why throw in the towl now, when you can either delay that or get lucky and the numbers actually hit? Seems A-Typical in the world of Wall Street Expectations. We hope you enjoy your stay.
 
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42. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 9, 2013, 19:28 Cyanotetyphas
 
Yeah FF13, their flagship series that had been critically hailed for generations, did 5 million. (http://www.vgchartz.com/game/7727/final-fantasy-xiii/). And its metascore is comparable, 83. Tomb Raider certainly had lots of market share...in 2001 when Angelina portrayed her (PS. yes it was that long ago you're old).

This is just investor herding.
 
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41. Re: Final Fantasy 14 Apr 9, 2013, 19:15 saluk
 
Who is steering the ship over there at SE?

CrashTestDummy wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 14:58:
necrosis wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 10:45:
BitWraith wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 10:18:
Has a Tomb Raider game ever sold Halo 4 type numbers? Diablo 3 was a huge, huge release, and I think it only sold 6 mil out of the gate. They thought Tomb Raider was a game franchise on the level of Diablo? Yeah, their marketing team is smoking something.
Wow. Didn't realize their numbers were that... stupid. Comparing it to D3 really puts things in perspective. No way in hell TR was **EVER** big enough to pull in numbers like D3 did.

To be fair though, D3 was PC exclusive, and 6 mill for a PC exclusive title is absolutely mind blowing for anything not named "World of Warcraft".

5-6 million is not an entirely unreasonable estimate for a multi-platform title over the course of its life-span, but TR is not the kind of title to set launch records, inspite of SE trying its darndest to make it appeal to the console audience.


Diablo 3 is about as close as you get to being called World of Warcraft as you can get.
 
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40. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 9, 2013, 18:50 NKD
 
ViRGE wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 18:24:
News like this makes my gut turn. On the one hand this is SE's own doing. On the other hand I don't want to see them pushed into a financial corner and hop on the derivative "dudebro" train to get out of it. Or heaven forbid stop using Steamworks.

That's the scariest part. Square Enix may not hit it out of the park with every title, but at least they aren't a shovelware publisher. If they set themselves unreasonable expectations, they may go, "If you can't beat em, join em!" which is the wrong attitude to have.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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39. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 9, 2013, 18:24 ViRGE
 
News like this makes my gut turn. On the one hand this is SE's own doing. On the other hand I don't want to see them pushed into a financial corner and hop on the derivative "dudebro" train to get out of it. Or heaven forbid stop using Steamworks.  
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38. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 9, 2013, 18:03 Agent.X7
 
PHJF wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 17:48:
I don't know how young you people are, but Tomb Raider used to be one of the biggest franchises in gaming. How else do you think it ended up with a bunch of Angelina Jolie movies?

Uncharted 3 has, to date, pushed over 5 million... and that was PS3 exclusive. I'm no industry expert but personally I blame platform age for Tomb Raider's "shortfall". My PS3 library isn't going to get any larger short of something really amazing; I didn't even buy GoW4.

The key words are USED TO BE. I think they bet on an IP that used to be huge forgetting that it used to be huge over a decade ago. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a fantastic game. I love it. But betting on it selling as much as they were thinking was insane.
 
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37. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 9, 2013, 17:48 PHJF
 
I don't know how young you people are, but Tomb Raider used to be one of the biggest franchises in gaming. How else do you think it ended up with a bunch of Angelina Jolie movies?

Uncharted 3 has, to date, pushed over 5 million... and that was PS3 exclusive. I'm no industry expert but personally I blame platform age for Tomb Raider's "shortfall". My PS3 library isn't going to get any larger short of something really amazing; I didn't even buy GoW4.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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36. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 9, 2013, 16:40 JediPunisher
 
Tomb Raider sold 3.5 million units... amazing numbers for this type of game. However, 5-6 million wasn't an unrealistic number, if Lara Croft was nude.

BTW, for those who haven't tried it, the game was excellent... the best Tomb Raider I've played since the first one from 1996. I'd rate it a 9/10.
Speaking of nines, Camilla Luddington does an excellent job with both the voice overs and motion capture... I really hope they cast her for the next movie.
 
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35. Re: Final Fantasy 14 Apr 9, 2013, 16:19 NKD
 
Whoever is doing their sales projections needs to be shot. Those numbers are not realistic and all those high projections do is turn reasonable success into disappointment.

wtf_man wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 14:46:
I'm hoping the new "Teef" will be as good as Deus Ex: Human Revolution was. I know people bitched about the boss fights... but the game wasn't about the boss fights as far as I was concerned, so I was able to enjoy the title for what it was.

The fact that people's biggest complaint was the boss fights is really what cements how good a game DXHR is IMHO. What would be unremarkable and par for the course for any other game actually stands out like a sore thumb in an otherwise really fucking good game. The boss fights feel like the guys went out for drinks and left their little brothers, cousins, and nephews in charge of development for a night and the boss battles is what resulted.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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34. Re: Final Fantasy 14 Apr 9, 2013, 15:51 Cutter
 
Wookiestick wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 15:21:
If you charge 60 bucks for a brand new game in a tough economy, you'd better have something the competition doesn't have to get gamers to fork over their hard earned money. Everyone I knew that played this game bought it used 3 weeks after it was sold brand new by someone else, only to beat it and have little use for it. Then they return it to a used game store for credit. Rinse and repeat.

^
This.
 
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33. Re: Final Fantasy 14 Apr 9, 2013, 15:25 BitWraith
 
CrashTestDummy wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 14:58:
necrosis wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 10:45:
BitWraith wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 10:18:
Has a Tomb Raider game ever sold Halo 4 type numbers? Diablo 3 was a huge, huge release, and I think it only sold 6 mil out of the gate. They thought Tomb Raider was a game franchise on the level of Diablo? Yeah, their marketing team is smoking something.
Wow. Didn't realize their numbers were that... stupid. Comparing it to D3 really puts things in perspective. No way in hell TR was **EVER** big enough to pull in numbers like D3 did.

To be fair though, D3 was PC exclusive, and 6 mill for a PC exclusive title is absolutely mind blowing for anything not named "World of Warcraft".

5-6 million is not an entirely unreasonable estimate for a multi-platform title over the course of its life-span, but TR is not the kind of title to set launch records, inspite of SE trying its darndest to make it appeal to the console audience.


They were looking for 5-6 million in the first week of sales, not over the entire life of the product. Tomb Raider as a franchise has never proven to have that sort of draw.

If Diablo had launched on consoles at the same time, it probably would have doubled that number. Blizzard has the clout to make predictions like that. People bash them all the time, but one thing no one can deny is that Blizzard understands their market like no other company can.

I think Square also understands their market. FF14 is a failed game that has been through TWO expensive development cycles. They're trying to hide that from investors, mixed with a bit delusions of grandeur.
 
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32. Tomb Raider sales Apr 9, 2013, 15:21 Wookiestick
 
If you charge 60 bucks for a brand new game in a tough economy, you'd better have something the competition doesn't have to get gamers to fork over their hard earned money. Everyone I knew that played TR bought it used 3 weeks after it was sold brand new by someone else, only to beat it and have little use for it. Then they return it to a used game store for credit. Rinse and repeat.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2013, 16:16.
 
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Love thy wookie.
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