Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix’s reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise from last month has earned some really excellent reviews (almost) across the board, and according to a GDC panel featuring Crystal Dynamics’ Darrell Gallagher and Noah Hughes, really excellent sales as well. A post on Joystiq about the panel reports that the game managed to sell more copies on week one than any other installment in the franchise’s history.
Said Gallagher, studio head of Crystal Dynamics:
“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. So, we’re happy with the outcome. It’s certainly in a place where we feel like we’re back on the road to achieving everything we wanted to.”
The post then points out the big question: how can Tomb Raider have been so successful critically and financially, and still represent “weak” sales for Square Enix, which, in part, led to its CEO stepping down earlier this week? Creative director Noah Hughes answers the question:
“Certainly we’re proud of what we achieved, and I think for the most part, the whole organization is happy with what we did.”
Gallagher elaborates on the disconnect:
“Actuals and expectations, I guess, are two slightly different things. What I’m telling you is the actuals, and they’re communicating expectations.”
In the end, hopefully Square Enix will figure out a better way to determine a realistic expectation for game performance in the future. Because the top-selling game of 2013 so far should never, ever be regarded as “weak.” That’s WHACK.