Just Cause 4 performed below expectations; “we sold fewer units on launch than we had anticipated”

During its latest financial results briefing session, Square Enix revealed that Just Cause 4 performed below expectations and that it sold fewer units than what Square Enix had anticipated. Given the state of the game we are not really shocked by this news, though we don’t know whether this is the final nail in the Just Cause series coffin.

As Square Enix stated:

“Our 3Q plan was premised on the HD Games sub-segment offsetting sluggishness in the Games for Smart Devices/PC Browsers sub-segment, but results were disappointing as we sold fewer copies of the HD game “JUST CAUSE 4” on launch than we had expected. Both net sales and operating income declined YoY at the Digital Entertainment segment. 3Q at the HD Games sub-segment was marked by growth in the holiday season of digital sales, especially of “SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER,” and by the launch of “DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2.” Meanwhile, while we released “JUST CAUSE 4,” we sold fewer units on launch than we had anticipated and were therefore unable to offset charges such as the amortization of development costs.”

As we wrote in our PC Performance Analysis, Just Cause 4 looked worse than Just Cause 3 and demanded more powerful GPUs than its previous part. The game suffered on the PC from some really awful textures and water effects, and everything looked and felt worse than what we got in Just Cause 3.

Square Enix tried to explain the game’s low sales (as well as those of Shadow of the Tomb Raider), claiming that it was unable to provide an experience that would make gamers prefer this game over the other titles that were released during the game’s launch period.

“We think the main reason is that we were unable to provide an experience that was novel enough that players would choose to buy them before any of the other numerous major titles on the competitive landscape. Also, while it is true that we are seeing a shift away from sales of boxes to digital downloads, with this many titles competing with one another, initial sales are definitely an important element in increasing user awareness. For that reason, we do need to engage in a certain amount of advertising just ahead of a new title’s launch.”