Tomb Raider, the origin story of Lara Croft, release just a month ago to an eager fan base failed to live up to the expectations that were set forth by publisher Square Enix. In a statement released today, reported first by IGN, the company stated that the expected sales for the title were 5 Million copies for the first month of its launch. The funny part about those numbers is that the figure that was achieved, 3.4 Million Units, is considered to be an exceptional amount for any game that isn’t a Call of Duty franchise. There is no embarrassment in selling 3.4 million units in the first month of the launch of any title, so why Square Enix set the bar so high is beyond anyone’s imagination.
The biggest issue is that the consumers are not the ones at fault in not supporting the title. 3.4 Million units is, as stated, a great start for a game and that means that 3.4 million people went out and bought the game. The previous months top selling game, for comparison, was Dead Space 3 at 800,000 units in the first month. Unfortunately, with the standard set so high the likelihood of a continuation of the franchise may be in jeopardy. Being that the title was so universally excepted there is still a chance that the series will continue, but fans of the series should have some doubt in their minds considering the publisher was so dissatisfied with the sales figures. At any point, hearing those vary words should create a level of skepticism.
The underlying issue is the publisher itself though, not the fans that purchased the title, are the ones at fault. The support is there to warrant the continuation, but the bar being set forth and not met isn’t that enough people didn’t buy the title; the sales figures were just vastly over estimated. Square Enix did the exact same thing with Hitman Absolution and Sleeping Dogs both of which hit solid numbers as well. Just because a game gets a great Metacritic score doesn’t mean that sales are going to top the best of all time. Instead, each game must be looked at in its own picture, but unfortunately that was not the case in this situation.
Square Enix needs to do the right thing by all of the franchises that are mentioned, Tomb Raider, Hitman, and Sleeping Dogs and give fans another go around of each. All these games are fantastic titles that deserve the respect of the publisher, as fans have done the right thing in giving respect to the titles. Instead of being greedy and trying to just cash in on a big payday the company needs to be realistic about the market which at this time isn’t as strong as it has been in past years at the same point. Tomb Raider is a title that showed a lot of promise for the future and to have a company tear down a beautiful canvas that is only partially done is a crying shame.
The truth of the matter is that Square Enix doesn’t deserve the franchises that it has. There is too much dirty play here and compares the company to the one that was just named the worst company in the world by consumers, Electronic Arts. Should they decided to scrap future plans of Tomb Raider and any hope that fans had of a continuation of the story, maybe Square Enix should be the ones being named the worst company next year for depriving fans because of dollar signs that were simply far fetched and inaccurately propagated.