New game, old success: The rebooted Tomb Raider sells 1 million copies in 48 hours


While the newly rebooted Lara Croft is just 21 years old in the new Tomb Raider, the series that she stars in is just one year shy of legally being able to vote. The 17-year old franchise has had its highs and lows over the nearly two decades that it’s existed, but throughout it has retained a loyal fan base and global brand recognition. Altering such a fundamental piece as the main character and reverting her from fearless warrior to amateur survivor was a risky move, but so far players don’t seem to be the least perturbed by the changes to Lara Croft. In fact, they appear to be downright giddy. The moderator of Eidos’ official forums for Tomb Raider announced on Thursday afternoon that Square-Enix has sold 1 million copies of the game in less than two days. Not too shabby for a much-delayed reboot of a faded series.

Crystal Dynamics Karl Stewart backed up the figure on Twitter shortly after the forum post went up, and then added that Square-Enix has had to send out an additional shipment of the game.

Tomb Raider’s success will be a highlight in Square-Enix’s next earnings report. The company’s fiscal year comes to a close at the end of March, and Tomb Raider will put a positive spin on an otherwise grim year for the company’s console game business. It recorded a $61 million loss for the first nine months of the fiscal year due in part to the disappointing sales of Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs, which sold around 3 million copies and 1.5 million copies respectively. With 1 million in sales after just two days and good reviews to boot, Tomb Raider should handily best both games.

Tomb Raider’s performance also marks a dramatic recovery for the franchise. The last game in the series, 2008’s Tomb Raider: Underworld, disappointed at retail with 2.6 million copies shipped over its first few months, and just 1.5 million copies in actual sales. 2006’s last reboot for the series, Tomb Raider Legend sold approximately the same number of copies. 2007’s Tomb Raider Anniversary, an HD remake of the original Tomb Raider, was the lowest selling game in the series, selling under 1.5 million copies.

Tomb Raider 2013 still has a long way to go before it matches the success of the Core-developed originals. The original game has moved more than 7 million copies since its release in 1996, and the 1997 sequel was the series’ best seller with 8 million copies sold. The current Tomb Raider has a long way to go if it hopes to rival those numbers, but regardless of how many units it sells the game seems destined to be deemed a hit.