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Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs and Hitman: Absolution declared “commercial failures” by Square Enix

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In its 2013 annual report, Square Enix has reiterated its previous stance that Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs and Hitman: Absolution have been “commercial failures.”

The company has said on numerous occasions before that these games failed to meet their sales target. This came as a bit of a surprise to people, especially in case of Tomb Raider because the game sold more than 4 million units within six months of its release. Square Enix has actually blamed its financial woes on the home console market.

The report states:

In the HD games category, we delivered three major titles in the fiscal year under review, primarily in Europe and North America. These titles—Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution, and Tomb Raider—failed to reach their respective targets, and resulted in financially unsatisfactory consequences, whereas the HD business in Japan remained strong through sales of the Nintendo 3DS version of Dragon Quest VII: Eden no Senshitachi (Warriors of Eden) and others.

On a more positive note, Square Enix does recognize that these games were a success in terms of game development.

38 comments on “Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs and Hitman: Absolution declared “commercial failures” by Square Enix

  1. I got Hitman and Tomb Raider on sale for $30 or less. I was intrigued by the high review scores and overall I’m really enjoying Tomb Raider (Just started playing it after it sat in a wrapper for 3+ months). I didn’t enjoy Hitman nearly as much, which is sad because I was more interested in picking up that title.

    I don’t think they did a good job marketing Tomb Raider, it was a huge franchise that I knew was coming out but there was nothing to get “excited” about. Given how many games release at a given time and how much time each game takes publishers really need to put their best foot forward or risk consumers waiting for games to hit the bargain bin.

    • marketing was good for Tomb Raider.
      They spent too much money on the graphics engine of Tomb Raider.
      the game is the best looking Multiplatform game ever released. It’s a multiplatform title that looks like a PS3 Exclusive!
      They obviously expected more sales to cover the cost of the game.

      instead of branding the game a failure, they should start working on a damn sequel which should sell more!

      It’s just like Heavenly Sword, bombed hard in sales but has multitude of fan base who are requesting a sequel.

  2. somebody tell that greedy bastard to shut up!

    Hitman Absolution a failure? how?
    an HD remake of the originals was released which should give people a chance to play classic Hitman games they missed out on. From there on people can then purchase Absolution, not even talking about Hitman fans.

    They targeted their sales for Tomb Raider I believe £6-9million, which is what a damn AAA title like COD and BF can achieve. But not for a game like Tomb Raider.

    They released Absolution and Sleeping Dogs on PSN+. WHY?
    Square Enix are a Japanese company and thinking very Japanese.

    Talking crap about sales in Japan are strong because of Dragon Quest. WTF? Japanese gamers don’t like change and they love playing the same copy n paste games. That is why Mario and Tales games are always being released every damn year.. Square Enix should GET OUT of business if they can’t give what we Western Gamers want: Change in game!

    • Clearly western gamers don’t want change in games, they just want shitty shooters like CoD and Battlefield, since that’s all that even gets sales anymore.

      • Why buy a cod ripoff when yo ucan play cod?

        That is the logic, let cod be cod and let your game do its own thing, not copy cod, because thats how cod does it and so thats how it must be done….i am looking at you bioshock infinite, linear maps, 2 weapon limits.

      • said by a weabo or just an angry japanese with no knowledge of change.

        compare Dragon Quest sales to COD sales.
        then come back to me with an answer.

  3. There you have it.

    Dead space 3 has to get 5 millions or its a failure.

    Resident evil 6 had to get 7,it got 5, it was deemed a failure.

    Crysis 2 and medal of honor warfighter flopped.

    Syndicate exploded, not to mention the bureau.

    Darksiders 2 closed the studio.

    Kingdoms of amalaur wanted 3 million got 2.

    Resistance 3 couldnt even ge to one million

    dmc also flopped

    Hell there are 160 million ps3s and x360s and how much did sleeping dogs sold?

    1.5 million.

    As you see games are selling badly.

    What is the reason?

    Is it that games dont buy their games and piracy and used sales are REALLY that much of a problem?

    or that those games are not relatively good?

    I think its that games throw away what they are to be sold to most people. Eg tomb raider is more about cover based shooting rather climbing and collecting medkits and ammo and dead space 3 is more about cover based shooting, coop and microtransactions than horror.

    Well guess wha? Saying you want high sales because you made the game more accessable doenst give em to you. If you kill what the franchise is known about, then fans are gonna turn their backs and the “appealing to a larger audience” thing has never worked.

    I hope this crap stops and next gen is about GAMES with SPECIFIC GAMEPLAY MECHANICS and not about making everything play alike to ensure more sales….which doesnt happen.

    Which reminds me, Assasin creed liberation and resident evil revelations are gonan be released on x360, ps3 and pc.

    The whole exlusivity thing is not viable anymore. Every game has to be released in as many platforms as possible to ensure sales. So maybe it will be a good idea to stop throwing money to marketing and high production values and bother with good gameplay

    • resistance 3 did get around to 1 million. and darksiders 2 didn’t close the studio because vigil games is still around (i think), and if you mean the publisher i don’t think darksiders 2 was the main reason, it was more the Udraw sell horribly on PS3 and 360.

      • It proably has reached 1 million now, but it didnt go anywhere near as close when it had to.

        Vigil is dead, they gone to a new crytek studio…most of them.

    • The problem isn’t pirating, isn’t used sales, and isn’t always game quality (DmC’s failure was completely due to the quality though, and shitting on the series’ fanbase). The problem is game companies wasting way too much money on games thinking that it will somehow increase their returns.
      So I think you have the right idea.

      Sadly the “make good games” tactic doesn’t exactly work either. Vanquish comes to mind (best TPS of the generation, no contest, but it didn’t even break a million sales). So there’s definitely other elements to think about.

      Really it’s all about making a solid product, advertising it well to the audience who would want such a product, and budgeting with reasonable goals in mind.

      • The quality of dmc was pretty godamn good, the problem was people were butthurt about changing dante. Had they not changed dante the game would still sell. Quality wise its better than all dmc games apart from dmc 3, i have played all tof them recently, i know what i am talking about. DMC4 was lazy especially in its story, dmc 2 was trash, dmc 1 was severely lackign combos and weapons.

  4. This is so ridiculous. I remember back when Ubisoft announced they have sold 1.5 million copies of Far Cry 3 and they were already happy. Of course, they have sold more in the meantime but still… Square Enix failed due to a lack of advertisement. I personally didn’t know about Sleeping Dogs until it was on sale in the PSN Store.

  5. I feel that you really need a compelling multiplayer experience to bring in the Day 1 sales. Otherwise, the price starts a-dropping, and your margins get a wee bit tight!

  6. Same with everyone. I have no clue how these two under-performed. Tomb Raider was such an awesome experience.

    Hopefully, publishers have realistic expectations when it comes to their games. Not every title can get 10+ million units sold like Call of Duty or Battlefield. Sad, but that’s true.

  7. I hope Tomb Raider will be what it was back in the day. It holds a special place in my heart cause it was my first game ever *sob*

  8. Sleeping Dogs was great, so what if it didn’t meet expected targets, it done well and it gone fans, if they made a Sequel i’d pick it up first week or two at full price like I did the first one.

  9. Well then they should make better games then. Tomb Raider was not a great game. It offers no challenge on puzzles, enemy AI was weak, you could survive way too much damage and ridiculous falls, you got way too much gear, upgrades, ammo, skills that had no real impact on game. Was overkill and lost its survival elements. The stupid reveal button which shows you the loot etc should have been only available in easy mode. Same with the slow time events that made avoiding dangers way too easy. We are mature gamers, give us real thrills, and real risk for missing out on a platform grab. If I missed a jump (quite rare considering it gave you like an auto ledge grab and then you cold press X to save yourself!!!) even then if you did fall there was no real loss of damage and death wasn’t much of a deterrent, you never went back too far.

    So the game just didn’t balance, and was pretty boring as it held your hand way too much. Thats why no one really talked about it as a must have game. It looked like art, and thats why it sold, but far from impressive compared to the original Tomb Raider titles on the PS1. Those games were a “challenge” . It had rules to the platform, jumps had to be perfect, grabs had to be timed. Quick time events weren’t slowed. The checkpoints were spaced out. Ammo wasn’t everywhere, an upgrade or new weapon came rarely. Levels took ages to work through, they required thought. The puzzles were difficult, but rewarding and the gamers used to love “getting through/completing a level” on a Tomb Raider game. THATS WHAT THEY TALKED ABOUT. THATS WHAT STUCK WITH THEM AND WITH EVERY FAN OF THE ORIGINALS. IT WAS A CHALLENGE!!! THAT IS GAME DESIGN

    With every new TR they try to reinvent the franchise in some new direction that is as far removed from the original. This showed a lot of promise but your far better off downloading the TR1 and TR2 roms for PS1 and play a real platform adventure puzzler shooter

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