Following weeks of speculation, Eidos has confirmed that Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness will not be out in Europe in time for the end of the company's financial year, and has therefore reduced profit expectations for the year.
The game, which is the first Lara Croft title to appear on the PlayStation 2, came out in the USA last Friday on PS2 and according to Eidos, shipments to date are in line with expectations. However, the multilingual version of the game has not yet been approved for release in Europe by Sony, and although some units may ship in June (on Monday, presumably), the vast bulk will ship in July.
The PC version of the title will launch next week in both the USA and Europe, and as such will also miss Eidos' financial year end. In line with this slippage (and also presumably with the recent slippage of Elixir's Republic: The Revolution, which was until recently slated for release today), Eidos' expectations for pre-tax profits for the full year have been significantly reduced.
Shares in Eidos were down by approximately 5 per cent at time of writing, although the company has indicated that it does not expect the delay to impact on sales of the game, and expects that it will meet expectations for the financial years 2003 and 2004 in aggregate.
Tomb Raider has slipped many times in the past year - the game was at one point mooted as a possible PS2 launch title, but the first realistic release dates we saw expected a launch in time for Christmas 2002. Eidos has always claimed that the delays were in order to allow Core to create the best game possible, but recent comments have suggested that Core rushed the game in an attempt to finish it in time for a launch before the end of Eidos' fourth quarter.
Preliminary results for the year to June 30th will be announced on September 4th, but Eidos expects to release further trading information shortly which should give some indication of its performance for the year.