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Low Enslaved sales blamed on poor timing

Plus, Namco hints at future for franchise.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West underperformed because it was released at the wrong time of year, publisher Namco Bandai has claimed.

Marketing VP Carlson Choi told Siliconera that it was a mistake to release the Ninja Theory-developed adventure title in October, during a packed holiday season.

"It really didn't do what we anticipated," he admitted.

"To be perfectly frank, I think as a company prior to us reforming this organisation, 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," he promised.

Earlier this month, Namco revealed that the game, which won an 8/10 from Eurogamer, had only sold 460,000 copies. That's well below the million the publisher was aiming for.

Despite its poor performance, a sequel hasn't been entirely ruled out. When asked if Namco had plans to build on the franchise, Choi offered hope, albeit slight.

"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?" he explained.

"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."

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Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.