When Square Enix last month revealed Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs each failed to meet company expectations, despite what appeared to be solid sales numbers, we immediately questioned what exactly the publisher was thinking. After all, Tomb Raider's 3.4 million copies are far from the "weak sales," Square Enix had labeled it as. So what gives?
Thanks to a report released directly from the publisher, we now have a better idea as to why Square Enix was disappointed in the sales of of all three games. Apparently, the publisher wanted to ship 5-6 million copies of Tomb Raider, 4.5-5 million copies of Hitman: Absolution, and 2-2.5 million copies of Sleeping Dogs. For the record, Hitman: Absolution has sold 3.6 million to date, while Sleeping Dogs has sold 1.75 million units.
Even with the popularity of the Tomb Raider franchise, I can't help but think the publishers expectations were a little too lofty. For all three games, actually. Even Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher had a disagreeing opinion when talking about the sales of Tomb Raider.
"It's been the biggest week one sales in franchise history, and we're only a few weeks into that launch right now, and it's been the biggest opening so far in 2013," Gallagher told GDC attendees last week. "So, we're happy with the outcome. It's certainly in a place where we feel like we're on the road to achieving everything we wanted to."
Were Square Enix's sales expectations for all three titles too high?