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willjustice89
9th Aug 2011, 05:29
Can someone help me out.. ?
Recently, I've been trying to see the path that Tomb Raider has been going since it was first created for the console in 1996. I'm trying to figure out what the sales are for each game in the series. I've gathered SOME data.. but was hoping y'all could help me figure out the rest.
I've learned that ALL TOGETHER, 35 million games have been sold. :D

Tomb Raider I - 8 million games sold
Tomb Raider II - ?
Tomb Raider III - 6.2 million games sold
Tomb Raider: Last Revelation - 5 million games sold
Tomb Raider: Chronicles - ?
Tomb Raider: Angel Of Darkness - ?
Tomb Raider: Legends - 4.5 million games sold
Tomb Raider: Anniversary - 1.3 million games sold
Tomb Raider: Underworld - ?

Of course... I guess, in the end, we can't determine that Tomb Raider has had a slope overtime by disc sales.. because... heck..if they've been out longer, then they'll build in sales overtime.

Driber
9th Aug 2011, 13:59
http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/9/2009/04/tomb_raider_sales_chart.jpg

willjustice89
10th Aug 2011, 07:17
Thanks for this chart!... but heck... I wonder why the heck there was such a sharp decline starting at Tomb Raider Chronicles?

Driber
10th Aug 2011, 08:47
My guess is that it had just become too repetitive; it was too much of the same. TRC felt more like TR4 Gold to me.

The earlier TR games were really innovative and special. The later games weren't bad, but they also had to cope with a lot more competition, I'd say.

Plus, you also have to factor in the timeline. The more years go by, the more units of a game are sold.

TR1 has been on the shelves for 15 years now and still selling.

WinterSoldierLTE
10th Aug 2011, 09:32
My guess is that it had just become too repetitive; it was too much of the same.

That'd be my guess as well. When I finaly sat down and played the old schools, I did 'em one right after the other and by the time I got to "Last Revelation" the only thing that seemed different were a couple of new moves Lara could do and new weapons. Other then that they all seemed S.S.D.D. to me. Even the very last levels were the same: Lara beats baddie, has to run out of (insert level name here) before the place colapses around her.

willjustice89
10th Aug 2011, 11:48
they're ALL still different w/ different storylines. heh..

Driber
10th Aug 2011, 12:05
Yeah, the stories were different and of course they were appealing on their own.

We're talking about the gameplay.

willjustice89
10th Aug 2011, 16:16
Of course, of course.. we're talking about gameplay.. but wouldn't storylines stimulate an interest in purchasing new material, regardless of gameplay?

d1n0_xD
10th Aug 2011, 16:25
I think gameplay is a number one feature in the game and then storyline coming in close number two :D Some games are played just to see the end of the story, but if the bad gameplay is holding the game and story down... that's not good.

Driber
10th Aug 2011, 18:09
Of course, of course.. we're talking about gameplay.. but wouldn't storylines stimulate an interest in purchasing new material, regardless of gameplay?

The short answer:

No.

The long answer:

I think that depends on the player. For the casual player (which would make up most of those sales figures), innovative gameplay is essential (or, like Dino said, at least a close nr. 2) for a game to be interesting.

If a game franchise uses the same old engine for ages without any big improvements and just spits out new levels with a new story, it's bound to get repetitive and sales will start to decline.

I myself don't have a big problem with repetitiveness; as a TR fan and TRLE level designer, I've built levels using that same old engine and I've played countless custom levels using that same old engine. I enjoy it and will probably play any official TR game regardless.

But the casual gamer needs something more than just a new story arc at every installment.

WinterSoldierLTE
10th Aug 2011, 22:31
Yeah if it's the right same thing, then repeatativeness is ok. The GTA series, for example. Same concept every single time ever since #3, just different locations, characters, and 1 or 2 new features with every installment. I dig the old school TR's personaly as far as gameplay itself goes. I'm a sucker for a good story tho, so to me storytelling is just as important as gameplay, but IMO storytelling wasn't CORE's strength. It's understandable tho, since back in those days there was much more emphasis on gameplay then storytelling as a whole in the gaming world. Like, out of 10 games, only 3-4 would be storycentric. Then a few other games came out that were loaded to the brim with great storytelling (MGS1, FF7, for example) and suddenly storytelling was a must have in video games. And CORE put a bit more emphasis on and got better at it with each installment, I think. They hit a great stride with "Last Revelation", and really seemed to get the hang of it w/ "A.O.D.". But other then that, yeah, gameplay was same thing over and over again until "A.O.D.". I guess you can either handle that, or you can't. Looks as if most couldn't.

a_big_house
10th Aug 2011, 23:23
/\ Same as Assassin's Creed, but people still love them.
I think it's hard to define what people like by looking at what they play, I for one don't have a specific type of game I play.
I would say what overall effects the sales is not the story or the gameplay but how the story is told through the gameplay, my example being the Lego games; not the most interesting choice but they are built upon the knowledge that the people playing the games will know the story already and so using that story they are able to make it more creative, using Lego Indy Jones as an example, they were able to take something of somewhat fame like the whip and use it to their advantage.
Now for Tomb Raider, they had innovation. Tomb Raider 2 used that innovation and built upon it, changing how the story is played, from going on through the sales chart its easy to see that it was the same method which was completely renewed at AoD. New system, new story, new mechanics, it attracted more attention which rubbed off in Legend where it was new everything again.

Basically I'm saying that the sales are effected more by how the game is improved and not how it is changed. I believe that the new Tomb Raider will get a good audience but will struggle finding something to keep people interested after.
Which is where CD will prove me wrong :)

Ants_27_
11th Aug 2011, 10:01
I suppose pricing plays a point. For example I won't ever buy a game brand new now, that's it (simply I can't afford). In fact the last time I turned on the xbox was early June, slightly before?

But back to the point, I don't think this was really the case with the PS1 games but certainly with Underworld. If I'd have somehow known how repetitive Underworld was, would I have bought it no.

So from my point of view, I refuse to buy a game brand new that is almost similar to its predecessor... which the majority of cases now is down right often. It's one thing that I always thought was somewhat cool of the MGS series: Number 1 had the sort of top-down view, number 2 added to it by making it slightly more third person (along with the use of 1st), 3 brought about that survival game-play which was brilliant & 4 essentially just added to that of number three.

I view games more on how it's changed --both storyline complexity (incredibly important) and the game play.

WinterSoldierLTE
11th Aug 2011, 23:16
^^ Yeah I'd say that MGS evolved the right way. Those were all the same thing over and over, but it really was different each time. Plus the storyline kept getting more and more complex and interesting.

I can't help but wonder if timing doesn't help play a part in the success of a series. Those first 5 TR's were all released one year apart and maybe that was a case of "too much too soon", even if it was one of the hottest properties on the market at the time.

willjustice89
22nd Aug 2011, 23:45
Call me collective... but ANY new Tomb Raider game that's released... regardless of similarities in storylines and/or graphics, I WILL buy it :P

GoggleboxUK
23rd Aug 2011, 01:14
Just to throw a spanner in the works, Wikipedia has TR2 outselling TR1 by a million units with the original game shifting 7m abd the sequel doing 8m.

Another possibility of why Chronicles didn't sell as well is that the first incarnation of xbox was being paraded pre-launch around that time. It was certainly the tail end of PS/PSOne when TR5 hit the shelves and Dreamcast was also just newly released and (on paper at least) a better console.

After 5 similarly themed TR titles I guess people were keen to try something new and games like Shenmue, Crazy Taxi, Soul Calibre and the first incarnation of Sonic in 3D must have taken their toll. Chronicles did get a DC launch but it didn't get the upgrades it needed to make it a "next-gen" game of the era.

Factor in the releases available around that time for N64 (notably Goldeneye & Perfect Dark) and it's not hard to see that TR5 suffered from having some excellent competition, not least from fellow PS games like the later versions of Gran Turismo, MGS, Final Fantasy and Crash Bandicoot, all of which were massive sellers.

Don't forget that piracy was rife on both PlayStation and Dreamcast at that time. Plug in chips on original PS, lid opening disc swap techniques and, with DC right from launch, the boot disc. All bound to have had a massive effect on sales.

WinterSoldierLTE
23rd Aug 2011, 09:56
^^^ Did you know that to this day, there are still Dreamcast games being made? All by indie studios, of course. That console still lives, just REALLY quietly.