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Submitted by MattS 1054d ago | opinion piece

Tomb Raider; a commercial failure at 3.4 million sales

Digitally Downloaded writes: "The expectation is that the costs of development will rise in the next generation. Some believe it will only rise a small amount, but no one is suggesting it's going to get any cheaper. There is just not going to be any room to take any risks on the kinds of margins that these games are developed on." (Industry, Tomb Raider)

Magnagamer222  +   1054d ago
That's crazy, would hate to see this franchise get canned because they missed their mark.

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ABizzel1  +   1054d ago
I think the problem comes from the fact that it was pushed back so many times, and in development for so long.

It was shown back in 2011 as if it was coming out that year, but here we are in 2013 and it's just now releasing, so I'm sure development cost was a growing out of control since the game was probably in development for at least 3 years probably 5 years.

But still 3.4 million in sales is still a great number, and will likely see a sequel for the franchise as it reaches towards 5 million in lifetime sales.
NewMonday  +   1054d ago
that is more than 200m$, what were they expecting? if we assume the game cost 20m$ to develop, they made a lot of profit from the investment, that's a turnover of over 900%.

lets look at the cost of other AAA games:

7m$ Witcher2
20m$ Uncharted1
20m$ Uncharted2
44m$ GOW3
84m$ Skyrim

so even if the game cost as much as all these games combined it would have still turned in a profit.

the problem with industry isn't development cost, it's the middleman(publisher) greed.
Captain Qwark 9  +   1054d ago
its goal was 3.4 million people. it didnt sell that many.

that said, according to vg chartz, it sold 1.44 million across all platforms which at $60 is roughly 86.4 million dollars. even if they only get half of that back thats still about 40 million and i dont know how much it cost to produce but its doubtful it was that much.

im certain tomb raider made profit and will continue to do so, they just need to be realistic about how much it can sell in a few weeks. also this is a reboot coming off a few mediocre sequels so people are bound to be a little apprehensive. you tarnished the name by releasing average games under the name so now you need to reestablish the name as a triple a title and that takes time
dcbronco  +   1054d ago
@Captain Qwark 9

Thank for pointing out that the 3.4 number was a projection and not sales. I never really read the articles about this so I didn't realize that. I will say that having specific numbers in mind is a crap shoot anyway. You want games to sell, but 3.4 was unrealistic.

If it sold only 1.4 million copies(I assume digital wasn't included, so you might be able to add a couple of hundred thousand more)it makes a little more sense. A lot of that $60 goes to other people. Ten dollars goes to the console maker off the top. The publishers also gets a cut. Then they have cases, shipping(gas is expensive), masters to make, disc to buy, disc to press and storage for those disc once pressed into games. And the government wants a share too. Also add overhead for the company itself. Rent, electric, employee benefits.

All of the cost a developer pays has always been one of the things many people never take into account. It's why Journey didn't make a profit. It's why Microsoft take the approach of paying for content that will sell a few million more copies of a game on their system. It's less risk and all cash. If you give a company, say EA, 5 million for timed exclusive content and it creates an extra 2 million copies sold on your console, you make an extra 20 million in royalties for spending 5 million in cash. An exclusive game by a first party studio might break even or lose money. In most cases you've maybe created goodwill from supporters. Which doesn't always lead to future sales of your exclusives.

I think Square and others need to learn to be more selective of what they develop. Tomb Raider maybe should have been an episodic title for XBLA or PSN. Test the waters before diving in.
Army_of_Darkness  +   1053d ago
I would think that..
The longer a game takes to develop, the more it's going to cost right? considering that you have to pay your employees for a longer period of time and all...
I Think it's more of paying the people with very high salaries(management) that is making development cost so damn expensive! which is probably the reason why next Gen will most likely have more indie developed games...
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INMATEofARKHAM  +   1054d ago
It won't be canned and I'm positive the game was profitable... What is going on is SE needed it to do better to pay for their other bills/games... Like FF XIII Versus. (Long in development and short on profit.)
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Aceman18  +   1054d ago
The game supposedly cost $100 million to make, and at $60 a pop to go along with the 3.4 million sold so far that's $204 million made already.

that a profit of $104 million already not counting the continuing sales yet, how is this game not a success already?

Im sorry Im not buying these reports of it not being successful so far.

the make is good and it will probably end up selling between 5-10 combined this game is a success, and these journalists have no clue what they talking about.
Tultras  +   1054d ago
Well I may not be a financial expert so I may be wrong, but I don't think that every game sells for 60$ due to the various deals that are offered.

Also, I don't think that the developer gets ALL of the money that the game sells on, there are manufacturing costs, shipment costs, aswell as the money cut from the retailers themselves and much more.
Root  +   1053d ago
It's a shame, it was a great game but reboots just don't do much for an old franchise.

Hopefully in another few years time if they decide to do a new "reboot" they'll go back to what Tomb Raider is about
SinaMK  +   1054d ago
in 3 weeks only too...square enix is tirppin
eferreira  +   1054d ago
Well we live in an era now when people think a 7 rating is equivalent to a 4 and 1 mil in sales equals a flop.
trenso1  +   1054d ago
Yea it pretty sad that people have lost all concepts of things in gaming
Ares84HU  +   1054d ago
Not just gaming, most people lost concept of everything. Example: I work at an engraving place and we sell pendants we engrave for $19.99-$35 with engraving and a chain included. People often ask me how many karat is the gold and that if the silver looking one is white gold or that the little stones are real diamonds?? For $19.99......yes it's 24 karat white gold with 5k diamond studs.

People lost concept of everything. Many are fat and dumb as shit.
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StrongMan  +   1054d ago
Why is it so hard for multi plats to make money?
ApolloTheBoss  +   1054d ago
LMAO I see what you did there. I see it.
StrongMan  +   1054d ago
What did I do? I ask an honest question. 3.4 million is 1.7 million on two consoles and 1.7 million for an exclusive is considered a success so why is 3.4 million a failure on two consoles?
#4.1.1 (Edited 1054d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(1) | Report
ApolloTheBoss  +   1054d ago
@StrongMan I thought you were trolling to be honest. Implying that Sony exclusives are always successful because well, they're Sony exclusives. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing. And I honestly wished that I knew the answer to that question. This is exactly what's wrong with the gaming industry today. Multiplats that are assumed they are going to flop just because they didn't hit the desired mark of 5 to 10 million? Square's expectations were way too high if you asked me. Tomb raider was a success in my honest opinion.
Jek_Porkins  +   1053d ago
It costs more money to produce for different consoles, so you have development time and things like that. AAA titles like Tomb Raider try to push the limits and one up similar games and that gets expensive.

I also think advertising for huge games like that take a toll, which is probably why Sony can make money on something that only sells 500k because they usually only advertise their big titles like Uncharted and God Of War. Huge publishers spend big bucks on advertising and that costs has to go into what they need to get back .

Still, 3+ weeks is a little early to be flipping out like they are.
MikeMyers  +   1054d ago
That's why we may be headed for another crash. If game development continues to rise for the AAA games then expect even less risks and more DLC.

Games back in the 70's until last generation cost roughly $50 to buy. How much do you think the original Tomb Raider including marketing cost compared to the new one? How much do you think it cost the original Halo to the last one? How about Gran Turismo? Super Mario on the NES to the last one?

We have hundreds of people now in the process that can be linked to just one game.
#5 (Edited 1054d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
pr0t0typeknuckles  +   1054d ago
i agree,thats why i truly believe we need another crash to save the industry itself,i mean come on 3.34 mil was a hit back in the day now its considered a flop and its only been 3 weeks,i believe this whole problem started with COD developers did not care to sell crazy amounts until cod did,i truly wish modern warfare never got those sells,cause this BS in gaming wouldnt be happening right now.
Morpheuzpr  +   1054d ago

Exactly what i have been saying for years, I call it the COD effect. It's not only the sales, but dev are "derpifing" down games cause they think that since cod is noob paradise now all a game needs is to be "derped" or accessible as they call it to succeed.

I miss the days where the first thing a gamer use to do was open the box and read the instructions manual and after poping the game in going to the options menu. Now days every game have to have a tutorial, people expect to have there hand hold and if not, way too often points are docked by reviewers for that.
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No FanS Land  +   1054d ago
I don't think production costs will rise.

Nintendo used IBM / Ati combo since the N64

MS has ditched Nvidia (and I'm pretty sure they're not comin back with them for the next Xbox, assuming the nextXbox will have and amd/Ati set-up

and Now sony is leaving the Cell, the PS3's achille's heel, for a classic AMD/Ati set-up.

All consoles have PC inspired architecture, X86 ( I think the wiiU though is PPC).

if Anything there will be no problem in porting games, and as a direct result, lower production costs than this gen.

EDIT: I agree though with that "sales race" publishers dumbing down a game's image for sales. I have RE6 and the infamous "the CoD audience, the dream" article on my mind right now.
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Blastoise  +   1054d ago
I don't know what they were expecting, these are great sales.
kenoh   1054d ago | Spam
boing1  +   1054d ago
So what was the target if 3.4 million does not cut it?? Crazy :/
#8 (Edited 1054d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
KyRo  +   1054d ago
They won't can it. Everyone who's played it pretty much said its awesome. Those sales figures are nothing to complain about either. They are pretty impressive for a game that's only been out for a couple of weeks.
DEATHxTHExKIDx  +   1054d ago
3mil dosent cut it? Some games never even reach 3mil
INMATEofARKHAM  +   1054d ago
Correction: Most games never reach 3.4 million... Hell, most don't make 2.
Pozzle  +   1054d ago
It's crazy to think that a game can sell so many copies and still be considered a flop. If games are costing more and more to make each generation, how many copies will need to be sold in the next decade or so in order for them to be considered successes? Something in the game industry needs to be changed if this trend continues. Too many great games are being called failures because they didn't meet a certain (usually ridiculous) number of sales.
#11 (Edited 1054d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
JohnApocalypse  +   1054d ago
How much did it cost to make this? If the game sold 3.4 million copies that means it made $204 million
MonkeyNinja  +   1054d ago
Publishers don't make $60 per game. I don't know how much they DO make, but it's definitely a lot less than $60. A lot of the $ goes to shipping costs, advertising and PR, and lots of other small things. Although I don't know much about it, so I could be wrong.
NewMonday  +   1053d ago
12$ for retailer (20%)
12$ for platform (Sony/MS)(20%)
36$ for the publisher (60%)
1nsomniac  +   1054d ago
haha what!? hasnt it only been out like 3 weeks??

I havnt even had the chance to pick it up yet & already im hearing the games a flop. Nice marketing...
Acquiescence  +   1054d ago
3.4 million sales is still not enough to call the game a profitable venture?
That's just really depressing. The budget for development and advertising must have been astronomical.
araman  +   1054d ago
Just more evidence SE was/is completely off their rocker. Here's hoping the new regime brings back some sense of sanity and some common sense for what gamers really want.
Jadedz  +   1054d ago
Imagine that
Tomb Raider - on matured hardware (PS360), a multiplatform title, 3.4 million sales... A failure?

Next-gen exclusive game develop cost, am cry.
SatanSki  +   1054d ago
So maybe developpers should cut their inflated salaries, start developing some automation, use procedural approach and produce high quality reusable assets which can be easyly modified. If they do eveything from scratch by hand no wonder it costs more and more.
Blacklash93  +   1054d ago
There's something wrong with this industry if 3.4 million sales is considered a commercial failure.
shikamaroooo  +   1054d ago
The target was 3.4 million, and they didn't achieve it.
MattS  +   1053d ago
No. The projection was 3.4 million, and that projected number won't hit the sales figures Square Enix needed to make Tomb Raider a commercial success.

To be a commercial success it needed to sell between 5 and 10 million.
InTheLab  +   1054d ago
So their 3 week goal was over 5m? Did it ever occur to them that not every has the money to buy Day1?
azshorty2003  +   1054d ago
Agreed. I fully intend to buy it, but I've been waiting until games hit the $30 mark. I've been on tighter budget lately.

I Really want to play it too, but I'm in the middle of one game, and plan on getting Dead Space first since it came out before Tomb Raider.
Magnagamer222  +   1053d ago
That raises another question. Do you guys think the high cost of video games in a struggling economy is hurting sales? Obvious answer is yes but do the publishers really take this into account. I see the industry imploding on itself unless they change their pricing structure.

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MattS  +   1053d ago
Their 2013 goal was over 5 million.
impet25  +   1054d ago
I honestly think gamer fatigue is hurting se expectations. Some people are just ready 4 next gen. I had 2 build a rig 2 get over dat.
ThatEnglishDude  +   1054d ago
I didn't think the game was anything remarkable, but it was still a highly promoted and advertised game that received near universal critical acclaim...and it's considered a commercial failure.

This is truly saddening.
#22 (Edited 1054d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
e-p-ayeaH  +   1054d ago
The game might look quite appealing but most people that like Tomb Raider to begin with are not willing to spend 50-60$ on a game.
chukamachine  +   1054d ago

WTF. I don't believe that bs.

I want to see breakdowns of games costs.
Plagasx  +   1054d ago
Noooooo please god make another Tomb Raider...
kostchtchie_  +   1054d ago
then quite making games please, we can do without you assholes in industry for the money
QuickdrawMcgraw  +   1053d ago
Here is the thing and I know I'll get blasted for this.Even though this is a great game.It is not long enough for me to buy.I rented it.I loved the game,but was though it in time to take it back to the store(7days).I rarely play mulitplayer
so It has no real replay value to me.Maybe charge less to players who only play single player and more great games might be sold.
MattS  +   1053d ago
If they were charging less for the game, then the necessary sales to make the game a commercial success would go from 5 million or so to an even more unrealistic number.
yog-sothot  +   1046d ago
those losers at squeenix refuse to face the truth : they've lost tons of money on a turd like FF14, but it's less "shameful" to set crazy sales targets on their western games and blame them when they fail to reach these.

I wish Eidos did not belong to these idiots.

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