If anyone casts their minds back a bit to 2015, you will remember that Rise of the Tomb Raider didn’t have the greatest release despite its great reception and review scores. The poor initial sales could be contributed to a few things, but the main reason was its release date of 10 November, the same day Fallout 4 released. The game did go on to improve on sales as it got released on other platforms.
Fast forward three years and we’re sitting with a somewhat similar situation. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is releasing on 14 September, which is a week after the highly anticipated Spider-Man. The big difference is that Spider-Man is exclusive to PS4, which means it has a smaller install base, but it is the most popular console at the moment, so it might still make a bit of dent. The initial release sales in 2015 are something that Square Enix and Eidos Montreal clearly want to avoid, but it doesn’t seem to bother them too much. Or at least that’s what they’re saying.
In an interview with CogConnected.com game director, Daniel Bisson said that although the games are releasing at the same time, it’s not something they’re too worried about since it’s two different experiences:
For me, Spider-Man and Shadow of the Tomb Raider can co-exist. It’s a different experience. One’s way more about movement, the city and things, and this one is way more about exploring and finding things that make life special.
The Tomb Raider franchise has been around for a long time, and it’s clearly built up a fanbase that will support it above others, but one has to consider all the factors. September is a very busy month, and when gamers or parents need to budget for the games releasing, some of the games might be left for sales a bit later in the year. This is something that not only the folks at Square and Eidos Montreal needs to consider, but every publisher and studio out there competing for the contents of our wallets.