Remember a couple years back, when Square Enix said it expected to suffer “an extraordinary loss” on the fiscal year because various games in its lineup, including the Tomb Raider reboot, sold far fewer copies than expected? It was bad enough to force the resignation of CEO Yoichi Wada and prompt a major restructuring of “development policy, organizational structure, [and] some business models.” If you do happen to recall that particular uproar, you may be surprised to hear that developer Crystal Dynamics announced today that the 2013 edition of Tomb Raider is actually the best-selling game in the history of the franchise.
Tomb Raider went over well with critics and shifted 3.4 million copies in its first month of release, which sounds pretty good to me. But Square Enix said in this March 2013 financial results briefing (via Eurogamer) that it expected to sell between five and six million units and was “very disappointed to see that the high [Metacritic] scores did not translate into actual sales performance.” That resulted in “substantial variance in operation profit/loss against the forecast”—business-speak for, “We made a lot less money than we thought we would.”
Yet from there, we end up here: The reboot sold more than than 8.5 million units, a franchise record. It also set a Tomb Raider record for launch day sales, and first-month sales. “Tomb Raider ignited and expanded the fan base, pushing the series to a new level. The gameâ€™s incredible sales success reflects the passionate response of players,â€ Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher said in a statement. “Our studio is proud of what we accomplished with the game.”
It was also enough of a success to earn a sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, which was announced last year as a timed exclusive for the Xbox One. After the appropriate “duration” has expired, we’re betting it will be released for other platforms, including the PC, and so we took a closer look at where Lara’s headed next right here.