Tomb Raider publisher Square Enix has revealed that its internal sales expectations for the game's first month were nearly double its eventual 3.4 million haul.

The company thought its Lara Croft reboot could sell at least 5-6 million units in four weeks - a huge figure, but a total still designed to be conservative, just "80-90 per cent" of what Square Enix thought was the game's real sales potential.

It's clear that Tomb Raider fell short vastly of what Square Enix wanted, even without that extra 10-20 per cent.

Sales expectations for other Square Enix releases Sleeping Dogs and Hitman Absolution were similarly higher than their final totals.

1
3.4 million copies in 28 days means 5059 copies were sold an hour.

Sleeping Dogs has sold 1.75 million copies to date. Square Enix had aimed for 2-2.5 million.

Hitman Absolution has sold 3.6 million to date. Square Enix wanted 4.5-5 million.

Again, these expectations are based on Square Enix's lower, more conservative estimate of 80-90 per cent of sales potential.

"We put a considerable amount of effort in polishing and perfecting the game content for these titles, receiving extremely high Metacritic scores," Square Enix said in a new financial statement.

"However, we were very disappointed to see that the high scores did not translate to actual sales performance, which is where we see the substantial variance in operation profit/loss against the forecast."

Square Enix announced last month that it was bracing itself for an "extraordinary loss" at the end of the just-finished financial year. It will now conduct an expensive "fundamental review" of the company. Long-term president Yoichi Wada has also been shown the door.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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