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Square Enix CEO: "ROTTR Sold 7M Copies, Reboot 11M, Deus Ex is Not Dead"

NeoRaider

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Aug 1, 2015
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Even the mighty Tomb Raider seems to have struggled in the eyes of the publisher, failing to meet its initial sales expectations back in 2013 and only beating profit expectations a year after release.

It would be easy to argue the Square's Western business is in trouble, but this is not the entire story. CEO Yosuke Matsuda already spoke to GamesIndustry.biz about why the publisher decided to let Hitman go, but he also shared the current status of these other franchises.

"There are actually lots of misunderstandings here," he says on the perception that his firm's Western games are struggling. "First of all, Tomb Raider is a very important title and very important piece of IP for us, and nothing has changed about that.

"The fiscal year prior to the one where I became president [in 2013] was one where overall our earning numbers were not very good. It was immediately before the end of that fiscal year, in March, that Tomb Raider came out so we had very high expectations for that. Looking back on that now, I think the target we set for ourselves was extremely high.

"I say this with the benefit of hindsight now, 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."

Ms Croft's rebooted adventures have certainly delivered strong sales since. Today, the 2013 Tomb Raider has sold more than 11 million units worldwide. The 2015 sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider has shifted nearly seven million units - and remember that it wasn't available on the market-dominating PS4 for the first year.

Matsuda is also quick to quash premature reports of Deus Ex's demise: "We have never said anything about discontinuing that title but for some reason that's the rumour out on the market.

"What I can say is Eidos Montreal has always developed Deus Ex, and the issue is we do not have limitless resources. We have several big titles that we work with and that's partly a factor in what our line-up looks like. Of course, it would be ideal if we could work on all of them all of the time, but the fact of the matter is some titles have to wait their turn. The reason there isn't a Deus Ex right now is just a product of our development line-up because there are other titles we are working on."

He went on to add that Deus Ex is also a "very important franchise" for the publisher, highlighting its unique position in Square Enix's portfolio as a first-person title, and added: "We are already internally discussing and exploring what we want do with the next instalment of it."

More: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-11-27-east-meets-west-yosuke-matsuda-on-growing-square-enixs-global-empire
 

Vic20

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Dec 25, 2011
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Well, uh, good! I'd hate to see either of these series go away. Deus Ex, if I recall correctly, was supposed to be a three game story arc. Here's hoping they actually deliver it.
 

Roni

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Aug 13, 2015
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This is good news, I was hoping for a payoff to Mankind Divided. Those game's don't have the smoothest gameplay, but the varied and open nature of it makes it up for me.
 
Nov 15, 2017
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I hope to christ we get a third Deus Ex. There was a gigantic plot twist that was so well hidden in there that I think nearly everyone who played it missed.

If you don't know and you don't mind spoilers then:
Seeing Jensen's body in that kit and piecing together what the side missions told you, as well as core information from Sarif and that little Czech dude who sorts your augments really gave me a shock when I realised the original Adam Jensen is likely dead.

If you do know, did it blow your fucking mind too!?
 

PFD

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Well how much of those sales figures were after the games went sub $20? I'm guessing the majority of them.

Plus Humble Bundles etc.

It's still a good figure. I hope they make another Deux Ex. I refuse to play MD until they resolve the story
 

JaxBriggs

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Oct 25, 2017
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New Deus Ex? I'll believe it when I see it to be honest. I imagine Square probably took quite a nasty hit from the last game and I can't see them revisiting the series anytime soon.
 

Wiped89

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May 12, 2015
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Discounted or not, a game which has sold 18 million copies in two installments isn't going away any time soon.

If they don't botch the release of the next one (ie release day one on PS4 and XB1 and PC (and Switch???) they can match or surpass ROTR sales I think, but they'll likely hope for the sales to be a little more frontloaded this time.
 

dragonyeuw

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Dec 18, 2014
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Wasn't overly fond of the storyline in ROTTR, but enjoyed the gameplay. Got it on Ps4 last year and may double dip on the PC version or the Xb1 to replay on the X.
 
Oct 8, 2009
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Im thankful they were nice about how they let Hitman go. Publishers have distanced themselves from IPs and developers in much uglier ways.
 

GigiFusc

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Oct 18, 2017
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Not sure where they'll go with tomb raider. They weren't bad games (actually pretty decent video games) but they have failed to grow the IP and more importantly they've failed to grow Lara as a main character for a game.

It also seems to take them forever to make sequels. TR came out in 2013. Rise was 2015. When's the next one due? Xmas 2018? 2 and 3 year gaps between games is a very long time and it means that expectations rise and whilst TR was a leap forward for its tech, Rise wasn't. If the next one isn't a major leap forward after 3 years (if indeed it comes out next year) the series could be in trouble.
 

dragonyeuw

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Not sure where they'll go with tomb raider. They weren't bad games (actually pretty decent video games) but they have failed to grow the IP and more importantly they've failed to grow Lara as a main character for a game.

It also seems to take them forever to make sequels. TR came out in 2013. Rise was 2015. When's the next one due? Xmas 2018? 2 and 3 year gaps between games is a very long time and it means that expectations rise and whilst TR was a leap forward for its tech, Rise wasn't. If the next one isn't a major leap forward after 3 years (if indeed it comes out next year) the series could be in trouble.

How is that any different from other known IPs like Uncharted, Gears, Halo, God of War, Batman Arkham and the like? All of those games have several years between each entry. 2-3 years is hardly a long time between sequels nowadays given how long games take to develop. Hell, Sony was able to pump out 3 Uncharted games within 5 years of Ps3 being on the market, meanwhile they've only managed one mainline game and the Lost legacy extension 4 years into Ps4.
 

General Lee

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May 4, 2014
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Maybe if they hadn't kicked IO they'd have the manpower to keep DX going. Now I don't see another game being made in the next 5 years at least.
 

GigiFusc

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How is that any different from other known IPs like Uncharted, Gears, Halo, God of War, Batman Arkham and the like? All of those games have several years between each entry. 2-3 years is hardly a long time between sequels nowadays given how long games take to develop. Hell, Sony was able to pump out 3 Uncharted games within 5 years of Ps3 being on the market, meanwhile they've only managed one mainline game and the Lost legacy extension 4 years into Ps4.

Well that's a very good point and it's no coincidence that every IP you mention has been on a downward spiral.

Uncharted is slightly different. As you say they pumped out 3 in 5 years but each one was better than the previous. Play 3 next to one and it's a big leap forward - so they maintained that forward momentum. By U4, they knew it was the last one so they took their time.

Batman is also slightly different simply because it's not a video game IP. Yes I know 'arkham' is now linked to games but Batman isn't. And he's such a huge character that a delay doesn't really matter - players will always care about him (as opposed to Drake where players became tired of him). And again rocksteady knew Knight was the last one so again it didn't matter.

My assumption is that Square still haven't hit their mark with TR and after 2 games they need more from the IP.

I'm not sure about sales etc, but I can only speak for myself when I say Gears, Halo and God of war - as well as the others you mentioned - all became stale by game 3 and certainly the hype for a new game in any of those series isn't anywhere near as it was. TR seems to be following that trend. I can't help but feel that by 3 it'll be done. Unless they pull a truly great game out the hat.

And that's gutting for me as it's an IP I really love.
 

bratpack

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May 15, 2016
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Not sure where they'll go with tomb raider. They weren't bad games (actually pretty decent video games) but they have failed to grow the IP and more importantly they've failed to grow Lara as a main character for a game.

It also seems to take them forever to make sequels. TR came out in 2013. Rise was 2015. When's the next one due? Xmas 2018? 2 and 3 year gaps between games is a very long time and it means that expectations rise and whilst TR was a leap forward for its tech, Rise wasn't. If the next one isn't a major leap forward after 3 years (if indeed it comes out next year) the series could be in trouble.



Emmm wut

Most good franchises have a good 3-4 year gap

Gimme that any day over ass creeds yearly reskins
 

GigiFusc

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Oct 18, 2017
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Emmm wut

Most good franchises have a good 3-4 year gap

Gimme that any day over ass creeds yearly reskins

Yeh I think what I'm trying to say is that it takes them so long between games and by the time they release the next one, the game isn't so impressive because something else has come along that's better.

Ass Creed took their crown then Uncharted and I can't help but feel that something else will have come along next year that TR3 will just be good as opposed to that killer app - which is what the original TR was.
 

dragonyeuw

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Dec 18, 2014
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Well that's a very good point and it's no coincidence that every IP you mention has been on a downward spiral.

Uncharted is slightly different. As you say they pumped out 3 in 5 years but each one was better than the previous. Play 3 next to one and it's a big leap forward - so they maintained that forward momentum. By U4, they knew it was the last one so they took their time.

Batman is also slightly different simply because it's not a video game IP. Yes I know 'arkham' is now linked to games but Batman isn't. And he's such a huge character that a delay doesn't really matter - players will always care about him (as opposed to Drake where players became tired of him). And again rocksteady knew Knight was the last one so again it didn't matter.

My assumption is that Square still haven't hit their mark with TR and after 2 games they need more from the IP.

I'm not sure about sales etc, but I can only speak for myself when I say Gears, Halo and God of war - as well as the others you mentioned - all became stale by game 3 and certainly the hype for a new game in any of those series isn't anywhere near as it was. TR seems to be following that trend. I can't help but feel that by 3 it'll be done. Unless they pull a truly great game out the hat.

And that's gutting for me as it's an IP I really love.

Even if the quality of some of those franchises declined or are in middling territory nowadays, development time has lengthened over the years. So even if those games maintained their quality with each successive entry it would still take a couple years to pump them out. I'm not sure how Ubisoft managed to pump out annual open box Assassins Creed games( and they realized that the formula had become stale as well, hence the two year gap between Syndicate and Origins) but generally 2-3 years gap is pretty par for the course.

Also. what evidence are you using to state that players were 'tired' of Drake? From what I recall the hype for Uncharted 4 pre-launch was massive and while there have been criticisms that U4 is a 'climbing simulator', the game is generally well-received and as best I can find sold in the region of 10 million(?) copies. Also, the third entries for Gears and Halo are often considered the pinnacles of those series, so as you say that may be just a personal thing with you. I do agree that both series' popularity seems to have wavered in the last 5 years or so.
 

Grits N Gravy

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Sep 17, 2017
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I've had my fill on mediocre Tomb Raider games, hope they try somethin new with the next one.

lmfao this is a series developed by crystal Dynamics

They tried something new with Legend/Underworld and no one bit so can you blame them for homogenizing the Tomb Raider IP for normal people to buy into