The Tomb Raider reboot in 2013 was pretty successful, but it famously failed to meet Square Enix’s internal sales targets, despite pushing over 3.4 million units in its early days and going on to become the best-selling game in series history. You might say that the publisher’s expectations for the game were a bit unrealistic, and that’s something CEO Yosuke Matsuda is willing to admit.
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Matsuda replaced previous Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada in 2013 amid a major slump for the company. It seems they were looking for Tomb Raider to reverse the course in a way that a single game could scarcely be capable of. “Looking back on that now, I think the target we set for ourselves was extremely high,” Matsuda tells GamesIndustry.biz.
“I say this with the benefit of hindsight now,” continues Matsuda, “but at the time our numbers leading up to the release of Tomb Raider had been very poor and I think our people were probably banking on that and wondering how much it was going to help our final earnings. In the end, it didn't quite sell as much as we had anticipated.”
Square Enix’s slate of Western franchises has certainly seemed troubled over the past few years, with apparently unrealistic expectations for Tomb Raider and a mixed reception for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, not to mention their decision to let go of both Hitman and developers IO Interactive. But in this same interview, Matsuda reiterates the company’s commitment to both Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, even if their recent deal with Marvel is currently taking precedence.