Square Enix Reveals the Scope of Eidos Failure
Dismal failures: Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs have recently come to public attention on account of their plunging the otherwise profitable enterprise of Square Enix into the depths of unprofitability. Square Enix were poised to make a 3.5 billion yen profit for the year until the sudden Western failure of these key franchises, leading to losses of 13 billion yen [approximately $140,000,000]. The internal studio sales targets, which were regarded as crucial for the success of these titles, have been disclosed this week, and have served to lay bare the full and terrible scope of this Western Eidos failure.
The Square Enix conservative internal mid-range prediction was that Tomb Raider would sell between 5-6 million units, Hitman: Absolution would sell between 4.5-5 million units, and that Sleeping Dogs would sell between 2-2.5 million units. Thus, when these titles sold a mere 3.4, 3.6, and 1.75 million copies respectively, it posed a software-sales shortfall of 2.75 million units, which in turn cost the company’s bottom-line a cool 16.5 billion yen, forcing Square Enix to take on 13 billion yen in losses.
“Let’s talk about Sleeping Dogs: we were looking at selling roughly 2~2.5 million units in the EUR/NA market based on its game content, genre and Metacritic scores. In the same way, game quality and Metacritic scores led us to believe that Hitman had the potential to sell 4.5~5 million units and 5~6 million units for Tomb Raider in EUR/NA and Japanese markets combined.”
“Of course, we want to hedge risk in budgeting these units directly into the forecast, therefore we base the forecast on 80-90% of the total sales potential of each title. However, it is disappointing that our results fell bellow these marks.”
Truly startling results out of Square Enix! The Eidos management structure must have really run awry if just three of their console titles cost somewhere significantly north of 16.5 billion yen in order to produce and market. One can only hope that these disgraceful Western failures do not compromise the running of Square Enix’s hyper efficient Japanese arm.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Leaked Online Two Weeks Before Release
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is the hottest name in first-person shooters at the moment. The game’s existence was only confirmed on April 1st, and already it is just a stone’s throw away from its April 30 launch. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Blood Dragon is set in a world best described as a 1980s VHS imagining of the future [circa 2007]. Michael Biehn [of Terminator and Aliens fame] has been cast as Sergent Rex Power Colt, the part cyborg protagonist tasked with infiltrating a futuristic island and bringing down the hostile cyborg army, Omega Force.
The creativity behind this title has lead to much in the way of positive buzz, and even the gaming press has not been [officially] allowed to play past the initial ten minutes of gameplay – and yet many PC gamers have played the campaign through to completion gratis. Russian hackers have developed a piece of software which exploits a weakness in Uplay, Ubisoft’s obnoxious DRM platform, in order to trick it into thinking that the user’s account owns the content of their choosing, and thus furnishing them with a direct download link for the selected software. As such, Blood Dragon has been released two weeks early on PC, and can be found on multiple torrent sites. While the game in question looks great, one must admit to a certain satisfaction that Ubisoft’s own DRM has led to their operations being compromised in such a way. Piracy is currently the only way for PC gamers to enjoy Blood Dragon without being subjected to unacceptable Uplay DRM.
Resident Evil: Revelations HD Release To Feature ‘Season Pass’ and DLC
When Resident Evil: Revelations HD was announced for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, its fifty dollar price-tag felt a little steep given that the same title had been available on the 3DS for over a year at a launch-price of forty dollars. The price-hike was a little hard to stomach, but then the title was receiving completely revamped textures, lighting, and of course a large bump in resolution – so this seemed to balance things somewhat.
This week a pre-order campaign on Steam has revealed that Resident Evil: Revelations HD is set to feature a ‘season pass’. The Steam campaign was offering tiers of rewards for pre-orderers based on how many people pre-order the game. One of the reward tiers is for a ‘season pass’ granting access to four pieces of DLC which appear to pertain to the game’s ‘Raid Mode’; a mode which remixes the main campaign’s content into challenging score-attack stages. The game’s pricing was already a difficult pill to swallow given that this is just a re-heat of old content, but outfitting the game with ‘season passes’ and paid DLC is just a bridge too far. When Resident Evil 4 was released for the PS2 it contained the additional ‘Separate Ways’ campaign for no extra cost. If the Resident Evil: Revelations HD team wish to develop more content for ‘Raid Mode’, then said content should be free of charge in order to compensate for the game’s late and overly expensive arrival on HD platforms.
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