2013 Year in Review: Tomb Raider is a hit, unless you ask Square Enix

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tomb raiderAfter years of disappointing installments and false starts, a full reboot of Tomb Raider took Lara Croft back to her roots. Gamers were excited to see the evolution of the popular heroine, and it sold more than three million copies. That’s not a bad number at all, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy some at publisher Square Enix.

Yoichi Wada stepped down as president after a report cited sluggish sales for Tomb Raider, Hitman Absolution and Sleeping Dogs. If three million is a sales failure, it’s fair to wonder exactly what the publisher would call a good number. Absolution sold 3.6 million units, while Sleeping Dogs sold 1.75 million. The report didn’t mention what the sales targets were, simply that none of these games met them. The publisher’s possibly unrealistic goals aside, I enjoyed both Sleeping Dogs and Absolution. I haven’t had the chance to play Tomb Raider yet, but reviews for the game were overwhelmingly positive.

Despite not meeting sales expectations, Tomb Raider will appear on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a definitive edition.  The announcement came during the 2013 VGX Awards. It will contain updated character models for Lara and numerous NPCs. There’s also an updated physics system that will affect the items she’s carrying. She’ll run, jump and stumble differently depending on what items she has.

It will be in 1080 p on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, before you ask. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition will include all the game’s DLC, with eight multiplayer maps, six new outfits for our heroine and the Tomb Raider: The Beginning digital comic among them. It’s coming January 28, 2014.

This is a great chance for people who may have missed out to pick up one of 2013’s biggest smashes. I hope it sells five or six million units. Otherwise Square Enix may pull the plug on this underwhelming series and start firing more executives.

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