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.