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Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite help UK boxed sales jump in March

Friday, 12 April 2013 11:25 GMT By Dave Cook

Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite were the best-selling boxed games across the UK in March, and helped physical sales in Britain jump over previous months.

The stats come courtesy of Gfk Chart Track and were reported on by MCV.

March trumped physical sales in January and February, amassing some 2.67m units sold, although the number was 1.5% less than the March 2012 total.

But interestingly enough, boxed sales in March generated £70.6 million in revenue for games retail, which is a rise of 4.2% over March 2012′s total of £67.7 million. So while less copies were sold, the market made more money.

Here’s the top ten boxed sales chart for March 2013:

  1. Tomb Raider
  2. BioShock Infinite
  3. Gears of War: Judgment
  4. FIFA 13
  5. SimCity
  6. Crysis 3
  7. God of War: Ascension
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  9. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
  10. Far Cry 3

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24 Comments

  1. a7md1990

    “Tomb Raider at #1!! This is horrible, I better quit” – Square Enix’s CEO

    #1 2 years ago
  2. daytripper

    Hope Defiance does well this month (yes, hope)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Lengendaryboss

    @1 LOL :D
    I am glad to see God Of War Ascension at 7 considering how some fans took to it. Bioshock Infinite Yay :D, although deserves number 1 because the publisher won’t be calling it a failure :)

    #3 2 years ago
  4. mimasap

    I’ve been waiting for someone to bring it up under new analysis, since the game is now released and you can judge it yourself, but it seems this topic is destined to disappear like it never existed. Remember when people were calling out Crystal Dynamics for submitting to sexism when the only thing we knew about the ‘rape’ scene was that it existed? Christ. I hate what political correctness does to the media, And now no one is going to admit they were wrong about Tomb Raider? I just finished the game and thought it was absolutely stunning, and the scene in question was like one QTE out of the whole ~15 hour experience, and I felt it was a very appropriate sequence.

    I feel guilty as a male for bringing this up, but I don’t think CD did anything wrong.

    EDIT: Excellent read: http://lootspace.hostavo.com/news/OPINION–Crystal-Dynamics-deserves-an-apology-from-gamers-for-hasty-Tomb-Raider-controversy

    #4 2 years ago
  5. salarta

    @1: Once again, you’re looking at the sales solely based on the amount of money the sales are bringing in and in some cases (almost entirely the UK side) its placement on lists, and not considering all the factors like how much it cost to get the game in a state where it could make that much money.

    @4: No, Crystal Dynamics does not deserve an apology for hasty judgment. The controversy came as a result of SOMEONE AT THEIR COMPANY referring to it as a rape scene and talking about how the player feels like they’re protecting Lara. It wasn’t some random ass person crying foul, it was one of the company’s own higher-ups that spawned that issue. It would be like demanding that citizens apologize for protesting a bill about immigration because the vice president made racist remarks about the bill’s intent that led them to think it was a racist piece of legislation. And frankly, I think that if Crystal Dynamics had not announced that Rhianna Pratchett wrote the script, there would still be an “it’s a rape scene” controversy. As many others have pointed out, the complaints abruptly stopped when people found out a woman wrote the script.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DSB

    Most of the people who flipped their shit never read the original article. They didn’t refer to it as a rape scene, Kotaku used that word.

    They referred to Lara Croft being “like a cornered animal”, and then proceeded to explain how it was a pivotal moment in her development, because she was literally forced to fight or die.

    The fact that some people can’t get their heads away from her crotch and what happens to it is hardly Crystal Dynamics fault. Their focus was obviously elsewhere.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. salarta

    @6: http://kotaku.com/5918193/tomb-raider-creators-are-no-longer-referring-to-games-attempted-rape-scene-as-an-attempted-rape-scene

    “Here’s the relevant transcript from that interview:”

    RON: “And then what happens is her best friend gets kidnapped, she gets taken prisoner by scavengers on the island. They try to rape her, and-”

    KOTAKU: “They try to rape her?”

    RON: “She’s literally turned into a cornered animal. And that’s a huge step in her evolution: she’s either forced to fight back or die and that’s what we’re showing today.”

    But yeah, what you said does point out the glaring double standard people have when it comes to female representation in games: a once strong and very capable icon of women in video games can be depicted as a weak, scared girl begging for others to save her unless sex enters the mix, THEN it’s a cardinal sin.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DSB

    @7 Kudos, I never saw that. I just looked at the original article, where the rape was Kotakus punchline.

    It doesn’t change the fact that the attempt is just a plot device, it’s hardly something you’ll be holding on to for the rest of the game, although from the veritable shitstorm it raised, even before anyone had played the game, you’d think it was Lara Croft being raped non-stop.

    Either way, some people obviously care more about her crotch than how it may only star for about a minute of the story.

    And somehow she’s supposed to approach her attempted rape with an air of utmost dignity and stoicism? That’s believable.

    Mafia II had an attempted rape scene on the male protagonist, I didn’t see anyone flipping their shit about that. Standards are great, double standards twice so.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. salarta

    @8: Ah, I see. It’s understandable to not have seen the one I linked to; when I clicked a link in the article linked above that showed how they initially revealed Ron’s statements, they paraphrased him, and only later showed the actual bit of transcript. I can see that if a person wasn’t keeping tabs on the follow-ups, they wouldn’t know it came from the transcript.

    It’s still not necessarily meant to be a rape attempt, as what the executive producer thought the scene would entail is much different from what Rhianna Pratchett and the game’s narrative director (note: a man, and through Rhianna’s tweets on Twitter, I get the impression this narrative director had a lot more say in how Lara would be depicted and treated than Rhianna) may have meant. But, I do think a lot of people dropped their complaints about the game having a “rape scene” and interpreted it differently when they played it once they found out a woman wrote the script. I think if it had been a man, the game would have completely bombed, and most of the people praising it would be bashing it for sexism today.

    I think it’s also pretty obvious that Lara being depicted so weak and scared and vulnerable was more about a lowered opinion of female strength compared to male strength. I guarantee that if an adult male acted the exact same way, even if written by a man, people would bitch about it… but Lara is a woman. So this is “realistic” female behavior. If they wanted to depict a woman acting scared and weak in the face of danger, they could have used a character that wasn’t already such a powerful symbol of female strength. It also makes me wonder how happily people are going to accept female characters treated the same way from now on. How many people would love to see Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield cowering under desks and in corners in fear of zombies, crying for Chris and Leon to come rescue them until a man from Umbrella nearly chokes them to death to make them realize they have to toughen up? Is that sexist? If it is, then what if Rhianna Pratchett writes it? Is it okay now?

    I think a rape scene depicted in video games COULD be handled well. But not with Lara Croft, for the same reason I don’t think she should have ever been rewritten as starting out weak, scared and vulnerable in the first place. Before the reboot, she wasn’t just a character. She actually represented broader ideas. Raping Lara would have been basically raping everything she used to represent. And even if a rape scene would have fit for Lara, I don’t think it would have been appropriate for the type of game this new Tomb Raider was. Attempted rape is a serious issue, and it needs to be treated that way. Not as a sales gimmick, which is what the whole “survivor” concept really was.

    I don’t think we’ll be anywhere near a game that’s serious enough to handle issues like rape for the next decade at minimum. We encourage video game companies to treat a protagonist’s sex or race like a hot button issue where other mediums don’t need to deal with it, icons are torn down just to suit the bottom line or to fill some personal fantasy of the people creating the game, and the rare cases that we do see serious issues addressed, they’re treated like a marketing ploy. “Look how super serious and realistic we are, you should reward us being super serious and realistic by buying our game.”

    We won’t see games that treat serious issues like rape well enough to have them addressed in video games until we stop making “oh my god she got raped” or “oh my god look how scared and vulnerable she is” into a ploy to boost sales and revive interest in a dying franchise, and turn it into a serious concern where making money isn’t the main goal.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    So all of your assumptions are based on either hypotheses about how “people” would act, or your very own idea of who the woman actually is, and should be.

    Nevermind the content and attitude of the game itself, I guess.

    I’m about an hour into it. I find her very endearing so far, she reacts intuitively to events and people around her while rising to every challenge put forward to her. I’d say she does women quite a lot more justice than a pair of gun-toting D-cups with a backstory of barely a paragraph.

    Her sex doesn’t really feature anywhere, but whatever floats your boat I guess.

    As a game there’s plenty of actual stuff to critisize though, it seems to be constantly interrupted by cutscenes or incredibly annoying quicktime events.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. salarta

    @10: As always, you are approaching the game with the idea that original Lara Croft was a shitty character that nobody should have found anything to her worth admiring and respecting. Actually arguing in-depth about the issue is a waste of time with you because it’s very clear you will never understand what I’m talking about and have absolutely no desire to do so. Even if your perspective of the proper Lara was accurate, at the end of the day, “a pair of gun-toting D-cups with a backstory of barely a paragraph” that thinks and acts just as tough and smart as men is a much better representation than one that reduces an icon of strength into a scared, weak, fragile girl for whom any notion of being strong and courageous is unnatural to her and needs to be forced into her through trauma.

    Hell, let’s go make Superman lose his powers and suddenly start trembling in fear begging for Batman to come save him. Obviously Superman would be a sniveling coward if he became human because he never had to be traumatized to be tough like Batman was.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. ManuOtaku

    I havent played yet Bioshock infinity but based on the past games from this developer i think it deserves the good sales, but with tomb raider i can assest that it is a phenomenal game, my pick for the game of this generation, although i cannot put it over xenoblade, but it is an exceptional game.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    @11 Did you play the game? I don’t see anything weak about a girl who gets shipwrecked, and then attacked by wolves and mercs and proceeds to whoop every ass she comes across.

    The men of her crew are wimps who either refuse to stand up for themselves, or proceed to get themselves killed through useless heroics. She even tells one of her friends that she finds killing remarkably easy. You’d know this if you had actually touched the game.

    People are free to respect the old Lara Croft if they want to. She was built like a pornstar and she acted like Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you like that, fair enough. To me that’s just another charicature, whether it’s a man or a woman. But making a big fuss about the story somehow being “wrong” for a character that basically never had a proper one in the first place is just laughable.

    She has become a proper human being, and I don’t see why everything she does should be viewed in the context of her genitals. You see a vehicle for gender politics, I see an appealling character that actually has some credibility for the first time in her life.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. salarta

    @13: Uh-huh. So Lara Croft “realistically” acts scared and weak at first, wanting others to help her, and starts saving herself because other people can’t do it for her and because she nearly dies from being choked. Then later on, Lara Croft “realistically” finds killing remarkably easy. Lara couldn’t have tried to do the heroics those crewmen attempted in a not useless fashion, acting in just as brave a manner. Got it.

    Even if we pretend that this latest game was some remarkable attempt at progressing the medium, the whole effort is undermined for the very reason you mention: idiots and assholes that had no respect for the real Lara Croft. People that no matter what you do with Lara, will still see her as just a useless pair of tits with guns attached because they can’t be fucked to look any deeper.

    Crystal Dynamics could have made a new Tomb Raider game that actually glories in, promotes and builds upon the GOOD qualities of the real Lara Croft, while also creating a brand new franchise that takes the much more serious path of what it’s like to deal with a situation like this. But fuck no. Can’t have that. Let’s just roll both ideas into one shittier end product that destroys what the character was like before and comes nowhere near truly addressing the real, serious issues raised in the game. Let’s just do that, people are dying for anything that pretends to be serious so they’ll accept something subpar that fails hard. Unless Lara Croft spends every future game suffering from horrendous PTSD, it’s nowhere near as “realistic” as people are bullshitting the game is, and if she does, she continues to lose the female empowerment angle. And when I say horrendous PTSD, I don’t mean “I have a few terrible dreams.” It would need to be pervasive. THAT would make her a “proper human being” if we’re so obsessed with “realism.” Without that, she’s still just a pathetic caricature going by your definition of the original Lara being one, just a different, more insulting kind.

    I don’t have to play the game to know that this was a terrible direction to take the character and franchise in, any more than I would need to go to a Ku Klux Klan meeting to know the people there are racist. That’s an admittedly extreme example, but it’s the one that comes to mind.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. GwynbleiddiuM

    @11 You mean the original Lara Croft wasn’t a shitty character that nobody should have found anything to her worth admiring and respecting?

    She was wearing tight shorts and bra for crying out loud, she was supposed to be a badass archaeologist who’d bring some Indiana Jones flavor to gaming not taking a suntan on the beach. The plot of all Tomb Raider games were forgatable, that I can’t even remember how I got from China to Venice in TR2 and that was the Best Tomb Raider game prior to this one.

    I can’t begin to describe how I liked both the new Lara and the game, even the narrative was panned out well. She develops into a strong character during the course of the game and I really hope Crystal Dynamics continue this and make the next game even better. I totally enjoyed that.

    I completely agree with DSB on this.

    A hand full franchises ever needed rebooting in my opinion, Tomb Raider was definitely one of them. And Crystal Dynamics did a superb job with that.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. salarta

    @15: Nobody would deny that this franchise needed to be reworking or rebooted in SOME way, but this was not it. Mortal Kombat didn’t need these kind of antics for a successful reboot.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Phoenixblight

    @16

    You are the minority. Thankfully Crystal Dynamics didn’t listen to you or like-minded people.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. salarta

    @17: And you are the majority. But that doesn’t instantly make you right, just like me being in the minority doesn’t make that so either.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DSB

    @14 So even without playing the game you’ve somehow constructed your own flawed idea of how it plays out. That’s impressive, but it has absolutely nothing to do with what actually happens.

    Lara does not expect anyone to save her. Quite the opposite. She’s ready to kill those guys the first time they meet, but her prissy expedition leader immediately wants to surrender, so in the middle of that confusion, they’re both taken by surprise. Lara is the process of bringing her bow to bear on one of the mercs as it happens.

    She is in no way paralyzed, cowed, or weak in that moment. The expedition leader is.

    “Crystal Dynamics could have made a new Tomb Raider game that actually glories in, promotes and builds upon the GOOD qualities of the real Lara Croft..”

    … And that’s exactly what they’ve done, but hey, don’t let something like the actual game get in the way of your patently false idea of it.

    And they do it while actually daring to bring out even better ones, like her intelligence, her empathy for other living beings, and the fact that she’s actually courageous instead of just being an unfeeling sociopath firing at everything that moves.

    You’re pretty much the only one who doesn’t admire that character, and you’re the only one who hasn’t played the game. Do the math.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. salarta

    @19: So Lara calling for someone to come rescue her through the ship’s intercom during the shipwreck doesn’t happen, among other things I’ve heard.

    And you’re flat out trying to spin the game, when you take my quote and claim Crystal Dynamics made a game that tries to glory in, promote and build upon the good parts of the franchise. You’ve already admitted you had no respect whatsoever for the original Lara Croft, you consider her nothing but a walking sex joke. And we’re not even covering the issues with an aversion to puzzles and main story tombs noted by others that have played the game, things concerning the franchise as a whole rather than Lara herself.

    And yeah, empathy. As she finds killing to be easy.

    Lara was created and presented more as a symbol and an icon, in the same vein as Superman. Just like Superman was not intended to cover the “more human” dimensions covered by Batman, Lara Croft was not intended to stand for gritty realism, which is once again something this game fails at. This game is a shoddy mock-up of what real trauma and suffering is. It’s the Hollywood blockbuster definition of “suffering” that’s fleeting and has no human substance.

    Which I guess in some ways is only fair. Make a game that treats such things the way people have always imagined Lara to be.

    I know for a fact I’m not the only person that thinks and feels in the manner that I do about the reboot. I’m just the only person that’s loud and outspoken enough to say it in places where everyone else acts like the new game is the best thing since sliced bread just because they had no respect for the original Lara and didn’t care about what she represented. Being in the majority does not make a person right, and being in the minority does not make a person wrong. The closest you will get out of me for accepting this game in the same way the majority has done is how I reacted when I thought this game sold beyond Squeenix expectations: a belief that men and women want women to be depicted as weak, scared, fragile creatures that need men to define and improve them, and as a consequence that nobody has a right to say anything in the industry is sexist.

    As a sidenote, I realized yesterday that I can at least be glad that Soul Calibur V, DmC, Final Fantasy 13, Resident Evil 6, 3rd Birthday and other poor attempts at reboots or sequels have bombed this generation. Those franchises might still be able to come back better than ever in the future, and since I care a lot more about those franchises, I guess the loss of this one is a fair trade-off. Aya Brea might even be able to step into the slot Lara left behind if Parasite Eve 3 is made.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. stretch215

    @19 + 100. Tomb raider is an excellent game. Salarta, your loss. I actually laughed a little while reading your comments. You haven’t even played the game! Once you do, maybe people will respect your opinion. As of right now it’s based on what you’ve “heard”. Lol.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Richenbaum

    “So Lara calling for someone to come rescue her through the ship’s intercom during the shipwreck doesn’t happen, among other things I’ve heard.”

    haha why would ANYONE not do that in that situation? If you’re stranded on a random deserted island you can’t just build a boat out of coconuts and try to sail it across the ocean just to try to be a tough guy.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Gheritt White

    At least reviewers have the common fucking decency to PLAY the bloody game. You, Salarta, are no worse than some uneducated mainstream media pundit.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. DSB

    @20 Calling for help in an enclosed space filling with water is somehow a sign that a character is weak? I hope you’re joking.

    You’re referring to the intro movie, which lasts all of the first 4 minutes.

    It would be kinda stupid to go looking for empathy towards the mercs trying to kill her and her friends. It is however pretty clear when she is awed at her first real kill, a wild deer, and sadly goes about skinning it.

    Really, it’s just silly to be recounting the entire game to you in order to refute the false idea you have created for yourself. If you want to not play it, and hate it for “not doing” things that it actually does, that’s your loss.

    Just to sum up the rest of your ridiculous accusations:

    - The game isn’t perfect
    - The writing isn’t brilliant, but Lara is both appealing and very human
    - Lara Croft has always been a lot closer to Batman than Superman
    - Lara still isn’t a weak, scared creature
    - You haven’t played the game, and you clearly don’t have a very good idea of how it handles much of anything
    - Simply looking for opinions that will support your foregone conclusions is no substitute for actually playing the game, and discussing it on an informed basis

    The fact that it doesn’t live up to your own personal expectations does very little to invalidate the game. Lara Croft has never been more compelling, and while she may not perform every trick that you might want, at least she does what she does for a reason now.

    #24 2 years ago

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