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Tomb Raider achieves profitability

Tomb Raider achieves profitability

Fri 17 Jan 2014 9:45pm GMT / 4:45pm EST / 1:45pm PST
Publishing

Square Enix's multi-million selling disappointment turns the corner just in time for PS4 and Xbox One debut

Tomb Raider has finally turned a profit. Speaking with Eurogamer, the game's executive producer Scot Amos has revealed that the title has finally broken even.

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

The game debuted in March to sales of 3.4 million units, which was simultaneously the most successful launch in franchise history and a disappointing shortfall from Square Enix's sales targets. Despite the disappointment (and larger problems at the publisher), Square Enix recommitted to it, first by announcing a sequel was well into development, and more recently by revealing a new "definitive edition" of the game to be released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this month.

As for whether the original expectations of the game were realistic, Amos suggested that word has been redefined by events of recent years.

"I think that, as far as realistic or not, what the market can bear... It's a very interesting time," Amos said. "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."

13 Comments

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

305 171 0.6
This is the second or third game in the last few years thry wrote off a s a bomb that eventually made money. Hopefully it'll make Squeenix and others look more at the long game in the future

Posted:7 months ago

#1

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,072 1,007 0.9
It is certainly a game you want to see succeed and which has the potential to hold up very well over time.

Posted:7 months ago

#2

John Kara
Consultant

13 7 0.5
Top game, hope it continues to sell on PS4

Posted:7 months ago

#3

Gareth Donaghey
Customer Support Agent

34 45 1.3
Glad to hear. Bought it in the Steam Christmas Sale, to be honest not for this itself but the previous 'classic' games.
But started to play it for the first time a few days ago, and was blown away with it. I would recommend it to anyone.
I think the problem with it was too little marketing was done on it at the time, maybe they relied too much on the name to sell it rather on how it played.

Posted:7 months ago

#4

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

335 462 1.4
I really enjoy this game, my second favorite of last year, but still, this is not "great" news. I mean, it's profitable now, but ti took nearly a year just to get to that point, and it probably won't make a ton more after now since most people probably own it, so they'll get a trickle of profit, but not likely a huge amount, which is what a "really successful" game would expect to have within the first month. Game companies don't want games that eventually make back their budget and then a little bit extra, they want games that make back their budget in the launch window and go on to double that budget or more. The HD versions will make more money, but will also have their own added dev costs to update them, and most of the audience won't double dip, so that will likely be a modest profit too, not pure profit.

This news is certainly better than a massive failure, and I can't wait to play the second game, but I can't imagine that there won't be some cost cutting and retrenching to make the second game profitable with much lower revenues, and I worry about what those cuts will entail.

Also as a side note I hope they don't stick with the remastered "next gen" models, because I don't like them as much as the "previous gen" versions.

Posted:7 months ago

#5

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
They have done a good job rescuing this brand from toxification.
It is now back to being one of the console industry's small roster of blockbusters.
So they have a foundation to invest in.

Posted:7 months ago

#6

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,072 1,007 0.9
Granted, this origin story had the advantage of taking a larger than life character, putting her into the weak position of an impossible situation and from there the story could really build towards getting the player to that iconic moment where the situation is reversed and the payoff happens.

Let's hope Lara does not fall into the John McClane trap.

Posted:7 months ago

#7

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

556 607 1.1
Very happy to see this game do well. Definitely one of my games for 2013 and i will actully purchase the game again on Xbone. I think with clever development (asset re-use, iteration of core mechanics) they can create a sequel at lower cost purely for Xbone/PS4, which should see a higher profit return quicker.

Posted:7 months ago

#8

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

783 593 0.8
Getting the game again here too. They deserve it and any excuse to play it again from the start is more than welcome.

Posted:7 months ago

#9

Jed Ashforth
Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group

106 178 1.7
Played this to the end but it didn't really do it for me, personally.

More Tombs to raid and less generic cover shooting would have been my preference, and the hunting system (and its upgrade trees) were entirely unnecessary - I never needed to hunt even once after the initial tutorial, and playing this alongside FarCry3 really highlighted how far short TR's hunting and crafting systems had fallen. Hated all the quicktime stuff too, and found it to be an extremely gory game in places. Overall, it just didn't really feel much like Tomb Raider anymore. I don't think I'd go for another round.

Production quality was off the chart, though - super impressive.

Posted:7 months ago

#10

Andrew Ihegbu
Studying Bsc Commercial Music

440 146 0.3
Brilliant, brilliant game.

I'm actually beaming just reading this, as I myself had written this game off as a beautiful yet unprofitable labour of love.

Glad to see I was wrong.

Posted:7 months ago

#11

Matt Armstrong
Design Director

9 23 2.6
Definitely one of my very favourite games of last year. Really, really hoping to see a sequel.

Posted:7 months ago

#12

Private
VIdeo Games

103 14 0.1
I was late to the party on this, only finished it in the last few weeks.

Excellent game, amazing production values and great cutscene to gameplay transitions

10/10!

Posted:7 months ago

#13

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