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Namco Bandai 'proud' of Enslaved, hinting at possible sequel

By Dan Pearson

Fri 11 Feb 2011 9:29am GMT / 4:29am EST / 1:29am PST

VP of marketing Carlson Choi says poor sales were down to bad timing

Namco Bandai's vice president of marketing, Carlson Choi, has spoken about the company's pride at producing a game as critically successful as 2010's Enslaved, but admits that the title was released at a bad time, damaging sales.

In a brief interview with Silicon Era, Choi talked about the dissonance between the game's high Metacritic rating (82) and relatively low numbers at retail, saying that the publisher certainly hasn't ruled out the possibility of a sequel.

"Quality is key and our mission is to bring the best quality. It's an 80 plus rated title [on Metacritic] it did extremely well from a game quality standpoint. At DICE, we got six nominations. It speaks to the one element that is critical, which is the quality of the game," Choi said.

"To answer that question of the challenge of the unit number it really didn't do what we anticipated. To be perfectly frank, I think as a company prior to us reforming this organization, going to market, I think the game went to market at a very busy season. It launched in the midst of a busy holiday season.

"Last year, there were like 4000+ games for consoles. We didn't do a good job finding the right time for it because when you look at the quality of the game it speaks for itself. An 80+ rated game is guaranteed a hit. We got DLC that came out that got 10 out of 10. Ultimately, I think that game had the quality needed to address the gamers.

"I think it's a matter of getting into the market at the right time, which is something you will see us do much better. Even this morning with some of the announcements, we're getting ourselves ahead of schedule letting you know when its coming and incorporating community communication."

When asked about the likelihood of an Enslaved 2, Choi was coy, but hinted that it was something being considered.

"You tell me, do you think gamers want more? I can assure you, a title like Enslaved, and every title we've worked on in the past we're going to re-examine them and say what is the potential for the game? We've been doing a lot of studies, consumer engagement, and community engagement - let's put it this way: one of these days, stay tuned there will be more news to come."

From Recommendations by Taboola


Ross Gough Studying Computer Games Applications Development, University of Abertay Dundee

2 0 0.0
I would definitely love to see a sequel. I thoroughly enjoyed Enslaved, although have to say I'm getting tired of Unreal. I remember that the game came out roughly the same time as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, and not far off the christmas period either, which would have been reason for people to pick up better known franchises.

With the right decisions, I believe they could make a fantastic sequel. I'd get it.

Posted:5 years ago

Can't say much for the whole but I played the demo and was not at all impressed, though the visuals looked good

Posted:5 years ago


Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
For its faults, I too really enjoyed Enslaved, and I would definitely be interested in a sequel. There were a few fundamental things I would foremost like to see improved upon, but if Namco have faith to make it into a series I am excited for its future.

It's a shame it didn't sell very well, but it was the same story for almost all new IPs last year, and releasing in the run-up to Christmas just before established multi-million sellers like CoD, GT, AC et al was a pretty poor business decision. As it stands, it looks like August is probably the last refuge for lower-calibre 'Triple-A' releases.

Posted:5 years ago


Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 943 0.7
I loved Enslaved... Im really hoping for a sequel... and I just want to mention I loved Heavenly sword as well. I know alot of the success of a game is dictated by sales. But alot of times I think the person has no idea of what they are buying. I think a games sales can be helped by showing a games qualities and features through advertising.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 11th February 2011 1:05pm

Posted:5 years ago


Greig Hamilton Studying Computing Science, University of Glasgow

1 0 0.0
Enslaved was probs one of my most anticipated last year, and one of my favourite game of the year. The graphics were good, the gameplay was good AND the story was jsut amazing! I really hope this sequel is commissioned!

Posted:5 years ago


Phil Merricks

10 0 0.0
A unique title from a unique studio. We would do well to treasure and encourage such vibrant creativity.

Posted:5 years ago


Victor Vieira editor, Zombiegamer

6 0 0.0
I think the demo both helped and hurt sales. On the one hand it showed off the great design, punchy dialogue, interesting characters and story.

But many thought the game was too 'on rails' based on the demo. Those of us that were lucky enough to play the full title will know the 'on rails' aspect actually made sense. The characters abilities and the grandness of the Enslaved world suited that aspect, and I think it would have been frustrating if it was a more typical platformer. So the gameplay and story flowed which was such a joy to play through.

Definately one of my all time favourites!

Posted:5 years ago


Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design

70 14 0.2
Loved it, they should be proud.

Posted:5 years ago


James Prendergast Research Chemist

783 492 0.6
Was this game marketed at all? It seemed to be under most people's radars...

Posted:5 years ago


Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
James - "Was this game marketed at all? It seemed to be under most people's radars..."

I'm not sure about TV/magazine adverts, etc, but I remember last year on Eurogamer's video channel around E3 time Enslaved trailers were pervasive. I also recall seeing quite a lot of static online ads for it leading up to release.

Posted:5 years ago


James Prendergast Research Chemist

783 492 0.6
@Terence - In non-core gaming circles? I'm not sure that (i hate using this) mindshare in the general gaming populace was that big for the title. How many gamers watch E3, read Eurogamer (3.7 million uniques in 2008 according to Wikipedia which isn't a lot over the course of a year) etc? It may have had better marketing in the US but i didn't see hide nor hair of it in UK or other parts of the EU...

Posted:5 years ago

@James - Yahtzee's review and the demo on PSN were all the marketing I saw. Neither gave the game many positive points. I might consider this as a bargain bin candidate given the general positive opinion of it here, but I have to confess there are quite a few titles with higher priority on my bargain bin list

Posted:5 years ago


Wesley Williams Quality Assurance

145 89 0.6
Enslaved was one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I had last year and I do think it deserves a sequel. There's definitely room for improvement too and no reason why Enslaved 2 couldn't be the next Dead Space 2.

Now can someone please sort out a Mirror's Edge sequel.

Posted:5 years ago


Gary Howard Studying Game Cultures, London South Bank University

4 0 0.0
It's a shame Enslaved was released in a time period where it was mostly sequels to successful games coming out - like Halo Reach, Fable 3, Black Ops, AC Brotherhood, etc. Enslaved was a little gem, not flawless, but suffice to say, it was an enjoyable game with a distinctive quality about it. Loved the characters, visual and sound design, the mo-cap and voice work, and the story. And I want to see that transcend into a sequel that can do even better and try to hit the one-million mark.

Are they going to have the same problem with the Devil May Cry reboot? Hardcore DMC fans have already divided themselves from it because of their disapproval to Dante's 'new look', so that's a loss of sales right there. It could uphold the same qualities Heavenly Sword and Enslaved had, but as long as they know when to release it, they could at least make over half a million and may even convert those disgruntled DMC fanboys.

Posted:5 years ago


Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 943 0.7
Wesley - This is gonna be a little of topic, but I had to say something... YES! MIRROR'S EDGE SEQUEL!!! They have to add a few things such as more people and life to the city, it would be cool you had to run through multitudes of crowds like in assasins creed. Escaping from law enforcment would be cool. More cars on the street to. And more train sequences. But Id like to move inside the cargo cars as well as on top of the train. And move among people asthe cops are chasing you from car to car.

And again Enslaved was a great game. hope they make a sequel. I just hope they add more A.I. and control over the girl. You can send her to do differant tasks as you fight. Or even send her away to open locks and stuff, in a way that isnt scripted.

Posted:5 years ago


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