Once a poster child for AAA game development budgets gone wild, Tomb Raider has finally been on the market long enough to become profitable. Steam sales, price drops, Game of the Year awards, whatever the reason, Square Enix has finally gotten the game into enough gamers’ hands.
Executive Producer Scot Amos confirmed with Eurogamer that the game was finally “in the black” after slow sales after launch.
“By the end of last year – Tomb Raider is in the black. We’ve crossed the line of profitability for the last-gen and PC versions.”
Tomb Raider had fallen way short of Square Enix’s predictions after launch by selling only 3 million copies. Some smaller publishers would be thrilled with a figure like that, but not Square Enix who was expecting double that at around 5 to 6 million.
Tied with several other large budget Western studio projects like Hitman Absolution and Sleeping Dogs not performing as well as it had hoped, Tomb Raider is often blamed for sending Square Enix into financial tailspin earlier this year. Management shifts and the successful relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn seem to have saved the company for now.
It shows, because Square Enix is leaning towards developing old franchises that fans have been asking they return to for quite some time.
Cash flow from Tomb Raider must certainly be a welcome sight as well as Square Enix ventures into a sequel with a bit more ease. The definitive relaunch on next-gen consoles isn’t going to cause it any pain, either. Hopefully the company has learned something along the way in 2013. Metacritic scores and a franchise’s previously installed userbase are not enough to guarantee success.