|Mr Puggsly said:
But you don't know expected sales and we certainly don't know the digital numbers. Digital wasn't really a factor on launch titles when this hit 360.
These sales probably are lower than expected but MS likely takes the hit on that. Hence, unless MS is willing to take the risk then it isn't worthwhile for Square Enix.
MS apparently paid Rockstar $50 million for timed exclusivity of GTAIV DLC but it had to be paid back I assume with sales of the DLC. We don't know what MS paid for Tomb Raider, but clearly MS takes risks on big name titles.
For the record, late PC and PS3 have been very successful. So Rise of the Tomb Raider will likely do fine on platforms later on as well.
We don't know the expected numbers, but it's fairly obvious they didn't expect them to be this low.
And a deal can definitely be worth it without the other party taking the full risk. If things go at least according to the minimum projections, then the amount you were paid to make it worth your while on top of the rest will be the reward. But as soon as things start to deviate from the plan, those losses cut into the 'bonus' you recieved. Part of the responsibility for Tomb Raider selling well also falls on Crystal Dynamics ability to deliver a good game.
As for the GTA IV deal, GTA is in a different league than Tomb Raider. Would you really call it much of a risk when it was the sequel to the 7th best selling game of all time? If 1,25 million people bought the DLC on X360, which is around 11% of the GTA IV install base on 360, MS would have made back the $50m loan. Which creates a strange situation for Take Two, where they would be gravely disappointed with 'only' 1,25m sales for each of the DLC episodes on 360, as each sale up to that point would lose them money.
As for PS3/PS4/PC, this sitaution is a bit different comepared to other games that have arrived late to those systems as it's been surrounded by a lot of negative backlash from the community.