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."

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Magnagamer2221852d ago

That's crazy, would hate to see this franchise get canned because they missed their mark.

ABizzel11851d 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.

NewMonday1851d 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 91851d 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

dcbronco1851d 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_Darkness1851d ago (Edited 1851d ago )

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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INMATEofARKHAM1851d ago (Edited 1851d 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.)

Aceman181851d 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.

Tultras1851d 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.

Root1851d 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

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SinaMK1851d ago

in 3 weeks only too...square enix is tirppin

eferreira1851d 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.

trenso11851d ago

Yea it pretty sad that people have lost all concepts of things in gaming

Ares84HU1851d ago (Edited 1851d 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.

StrongMan1851d ago

Why is it so hard for multi plats to make money?

ApolloTheBoss1851d ago

LMAO I see what you did there. I see it.

StrongMan1851d ago (Edited 1851d 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?

ApolloTheBoss1851d 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_Porkins1851d 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.

MikeMyers1851d ago (Edited 1851d 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.

pr0t0typeknuckles1851d 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.

Morpheuzpr1851d ago (Edited 1851d 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.

No FanS Land1851d ago (Edited 1851d 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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