Sleeping Dogs Is Not Selling Poorly Says Square Enix President

By Ishaan . December 11, 2012 . 12:30pm

Back in October, Square Enix revised their earnings forecast for the year, pointing to sluggish sales of a major unnamed HD console game as the cause. The general suspicion was that Square Enix were referring to Sleeping Dogs, United Front Games’ Hong Kong crime drama, which Square recently published.


However, Sleeping Dogs sales are not poor, clarifies Square Enix President, Yoichi Wada. On the contrary, Wada says that he sees Sleeping Dogs as a strong new I.P., and admits that, perhaps, Square Enix’s sales expectations for the game were a tad unreasonable.


“At the announcement of forecast revisions last week, we talked about Sleeping Dogs (SD) as an example of a Western title that started out slow, which seemed to provoke misunderstandings that it was suffering poor sales,” Wada said at a financial results briefing. “Let me clarify that SD is an exceptionally remarkable title that came with very high expectations and aggressive sales targets for the First Six-Month Period. Our goal might have been exceedingly high, which is what we see here in the difference in actual versus forecast sales.”


Wada says that games like Sleeping Dogs sell over long periods of time in the West, unlike games in Japan, where lifetime sales are more or less achieved within the first one or two months on the market. Wada points to 2010’s Just Cause 2 as another example of a game that sold over a long period, starting out with an initial shipment below 1 million, and eventually reaching nearly 2.5 million sold.


“I am confident that SD would grow to be one of our ten strong IPs, and I am very optimistic for great results in lifetime sales,” Wada said, driving the point home. “Just to reiterate, we expected greater revenues from SD in the First Six-Month Period, and what we are seeing now is simply the difference between actual and aggressive projections.”


So there you have it. Sleeping Dogs isn’t selling poorly—rather, Square’s internal forecasts were simply a little too high. Congratulations, United Front Games, for putting out a successful new Square Enix I.P.

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  • Chris Yuen

    I’m kind of confused though, didn’t it top the best selling list in Europe a few weeks straight somewhere around August/Sept? It was quite the hot property least that was how I remembered it to be. I played it and I got quite a kick out of it, and even earned my first ever platinum trophy in the process. Is SE attributing the “targets not met part” due to the sales volume in Japan?

    • No, I believe what Wada is trying to say is that their estimates in general were a little too high, and in light of Just Cause 2, perhaps they should have been more conservative with their estimates of how much SD would sell upfront, as opposed to over a period of a year or two.

      It’s pretty awesome that Wada was able to admit this. I honestly don’t think he’s a terrible CEO as some people who have been disappointed in Square make him out to be.

      He’s just the president of a company that’s very resistant to change, and there’s only so much one man can do.

      • Chris Yuen

        Hmm..but Ishaan, in your view, is Sleeping Dogs considered a hit, or a miss?

        • I think it’s a hit. It’s a new IP under Square’s belt, and one that will likely continue, considering that it was well-received. :)

          • Godmars

            But is it really? Isn’t it suppose to be a reboot of some other series?

            Should it really be that a big a deal that its an IP new to Square?

          • True Crime: Hong Kong, yeah. But it’s still a successful new brand for Square Enix themselves.

          • Zanetsu

            Well, it was originally called Black Lotus(or something very similar) and had a female protagonist, before Activision picked them up and changed the name and main protagonist.

          • Yerld_CK

            FWIW, United Front Games planned Sleeping Dogs as an original IP. Activision used the True Crime name to market the game, so losing the brand brought them back full circle.

  • Godmars

    But he’s not quoting numbers. Rather using and trying to apply an example.

    Meaning by skewed logic Sd has yet but will reach projected sales numbers – at some point in time.

    Man’s getting about as bad as Carl Rove on Election night…

  • malek86

    Ok, so I guess the revision was indeed because of Sleeping Dogs. They had to adjust because of their initial, too aggressive forecast.

    • Something for future reference is that our other suspicion wasn’t entirely wrong either. Similar to how some companies use “Consumer Games” as a term to refer to console/portable titles, Square Enix say “HD Games”. That includes portable games, even though they aren’t technically HD.

      • malek86

        So Squenix just uses the term “HD games” for everything that is not mobile and PC? I guess that’s gotta make their reports confusing. I can’t imagine investors being too happy about that, unless they can get some extra info not available to us.

  • Alos88

    A great game, I really hope it gets a sequel.

    • Or a sequel that entails Wei Shen’s time in the States. Either way, I would be happy, I just want more.

      • It would be great seeing what Wei Shen did back in the USA. Right after college and before joining the police.

        From what I read here it’s pretty much confirmed a SP2. To think this game was never going to see the light…

        • I really want to see that that, too.

          I know, right? It’s good to see SE come in and save the game cos I enjoyed every minute of it and the Halloween DLC. A sequel is always welcomed by me.

  • Altritter

    So I wonder if this confirms or deny that this was the “HD title” that they said had sluggish sales and made them cut their forecast. I remember you (Ishaan) thought it mighta been KH3D with them using the term HD in a strange manner, and I agreed with you because I remember having been pretty impressed at how SD sold and didn’t think it sold badly for a new IP by any means, but who knows.

    • OK, so couple things:

      1. This financial results briefing did confirm that KH3D is indeed considered an “HD title”. That’s just the term Square use for their console/portable games, regardless of whether they’re actually in high-definition or not.

      2. KH3D wasn’t the under-performing title, if Wada is to be believed. I guess this means they saw the drop in KH sales coming, since they’ve even admitted themselves recently that the series has been getting too convoluted and spread out across too many different consoles.

  • I loooooove me some Sleepy Dogs! One of my top 5 of the year!

  • Yeah, I expected as much. I’m glad this new IP turned out to be sucessful, the industry needs original IPs and fresh ideas :)

  • Phlo

    Sleeping Dogs is great, but I’m still waiting for Just Cause 3. With coop, please!

  • Crimson_Cloud

    Definitely a surprise of the year. One of those games where the fun factor is with you from start to finish. ^ ^

  • Good, now can you pease get your shit together and give us an official release date trailer for “Final Fantasy Versus XIII’ at E3 2013. Thanks.

  • Nitraion

    Its a great game My only complain is this game is too short…

  • Göran Isacson

    What I’m curious about is if this IS that game that wasn’t selling up to expectations or not. This explanation kiiinda sounds like he’s not denying that could be the game in question, but that they have taken some time to think and realized their original expectations were too high, I.E Sleeping Dogs WAS the underperforming title, but then they decided that original expectations were wrong and now it’s NOT underperforming… if that makes sense to anyone.

    Question still lingers though, if this WASN’T the low-selling title… what was?

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