What idiots. I think 3.4 million is amazing considering all the bad mojo the TR franchise has built up over the years. If someone had asked me, I would have guessed that it would sell just under a million the first week. What the hell were they expecting?
To put this into perspective, they're going along with western publishing expectations. Currently, 2 million qualifies as a mild hit, while 5 million qualifies as a big hit (10 million is the envy of any company). Shareholders/investors know this, so marquis AAA games are greenlit in light of those targets. Even if Square Enix wasn't aware of western expectations, the Eidos unit would certainly have communicated the current norms of this business.
In that regard, Deus Ex, Hitman, Sleeping Dogs, and Tomb Raider failed to meet expectations (similiarly, Max Payne 3 was a disappointment to Take 2 at only 3 million). Square Enix set out to challenge EA, UbiSoft, Activision, etc. by producing big hits, so those games missed the mark.
That said, failing to meet expectations says nothing about profitability or long-term brand viability. Square Enix acknowledged that Just Cause 2 and Sleeping Dogs are slow burners (plus they announced a desire to build on Deus Ex), so I don't think brand building is lost on them. I also suspect that they were quick to lower prices to increase player base. However, the reality is that things get greenlit with the 5 million goal.
Anyway, a mild hit tends to be seen as an IP builder - sell two million copies and establish a good brand reputation, then sell five million copies the next time around. This is probably why Take 2 spent so much on BioShock Infinite - they managed 2 million+ copies apiece for the previous games; now they want to seal the deal. Ditto for Crysis 3, which supposedly cost $60 million+ to develop.
Long story short, the AAA business is busted, which is why its future is in question. The MMORPG biz fell into the same trap. WoW came out, everyone pumped $100 million into their clone and expected a similar level of success.......it didn't happen, and the investors bailed.