It may have been branded a sales disappointment by a deluded Square Enix management team, but Crystal Dynamics’ critically acclaimed Tomb Raider reboot is anything but a commercial flop. As part of a candid blog post on Gamasutra, new head of studios Darrell Gallagher revealed that the title has surpassed four million sales since its release in March.
The recently recruited executive also noted that Sleeping Dogs has finally attained profitability, too, despite launching with less than stellar sales. This is due to the continued popularity of the game over a long period of time. It’s a feat that’s making the publisher consider producing more persistent experiences in the future.
“We see the opportunity for some of our games continuing beyond a traditional beginning, middle, and end,” he explained. “We can have them become extendable and more persistent – with an opportunity to build and grow across games. To design in a way to keep our games alive for years instead of weeks.”
It’s something that we’re totally comfortable with, too. The days of buying a game, playing the campaign, and trading it back in are long over. Publishers need to offer long-term support and start thinking about their releases as services. With good quality content, a fair business model, and a solid core, there’s really no reason why titles can’t remain a sustainable source of income and entertainment for years after their release date. Good on Gallagher for figuring that out.