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Namco: Enslaved Didn't Release At The Right Time

Well, we could've told you this.

Despite decent critical acclaim - and our wholehearted recommendation - Ninja Theory's Enslaved: Odyssey to the West didn't sell well. Now, Namco Bandai admits that they didn't release the solid title at the right time; publisher president Makoto Iwai told Siliconera they were "proud of being able to launch the game," but marketing VP Carlson Choi mentioned the timing.

"It launched in the midst of a busy holiday season," he said. He believes the game had the necessary quality but ultimately it all came down to "getting into the market at the right time." Castlevania: Lords of Shadow launched on the same day as Enslaved (October 5), and within weeks, the likes of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Medal of Honor, and Call of Duty: Black Ops hit store shelves.

Even so, here's some good news: despite the poor sales, Namco isn't ruling out the possibility of a sequel. Finished Choi:

"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 really hope they give Ninja Theory another shot.

Related Game(s): Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Tags: enslaved, odyssey to the west, namco bandai

2/11/2011 9:05:51 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (40 posts)

PasteNuggs
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 9:17:07 PM
Reply

I really hope there is a sequel. I really had a lot of fun with Enslaved. I just wish Ninja Theory would drop the UE3 and make a more polished game.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BTNwarrior
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 1:58:00 AM

while Enslaved was a very good game with an extremely good plot, I just can't see a sequel ever happening. Mainly because the original pretty much concluded everything and left no lingering ideas to go with. Plus it was bassed on the book a journey to the west, which unless I'm mistaken never had a sequel.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Oxvial
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 9:36:15 PM
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Hey! lets release this new ip with an AWFUL character design the same day has Castlevania...lol!

Agree with this comment 8 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 12:42:17 AM

Indeed. That was an easy choice for me.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Oxvial
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 9:46:44 AM

woo! two Enslaved fanboys xD.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

aaronisbla
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 1:51:55 PM

yeah, same here, i still haven't even gotten around to trying to play enslaved, heard good and bad stuff about it, so it hasn't really been on my radar, especially now

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 6:25:42 PM

I got both for xmas so didn't hafta choose.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 9:40:20 PM
Reply

No sequel, but yes to more original IPs. Out of all the ones that you listed Enslaved most gained my interest. At least Namco have said this, rather than come out and say: It wasn't a top-tier game, so any potential future iterations are now scrapped.
Peace.

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Temjin001
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 10:00:15 PM
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I can live without seeing another Enslaved game. The first game had a handful of nice moments, though. But if a sequel were to be announced, I couldn't say I'd be excited for it. More of a wait and see.

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Neo_Aeon666
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 10:19:39 PM
Reply

Loved enslaved yet was dissapointed by the feeling it was not up to the quality of an old title like heavenly sword. They should have pushed on with Nariko`s big comeback in hell like they mentionned at some point and made even more innovative additions to challenge the likes of bayonnetta for action fighting and God Of War 3 as a whole. And well.. If all would have gone well... Heavenly Sword 2: Afterlife (made up lol) might have been part of the top brass and they might have made a bigger name for themselves... lol I love to be all hypothetical and stuff.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 10:23:00 PM
Reply

I like Enslaved, but it has a long way to go to become successful. It wasn't just the launch window, the game is kind of a technical mess struggling with its identity. Done properly with an overhaul, a sequel could be fantastic.

As for the poor sales, I hate to be a broken record but they shoulda stayed exclusive. They complained about 1.5mil on Heavenly Sword and look where they got with the short multiplat on the bad engine.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 2/11/2011 10:24:50 PM

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PasteNuggs
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 10:26:59 PM

I just think of what Enslaved could of been if it were exclusive using the HS engine. I imagine a game that may have rivaled Uncharted graphically. Call it blasphemy but I think they could of done it.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Danny007
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 11:19:56 PM
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I don't think it was advertised enough. It is however a good game.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Alienange
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 12:21:08 AM
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You just know blank line is going to be showing up for this.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 12:51:49 AM
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naaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, really?
you figured out all that all by yourself?
on a serious note, i dont think the date had everything to do with it.
the demo was far too late, far too short, they released in a really busy genre, new IPs never sell in the millions, NT are not exactly a well known studio.
all those also contributed to enslaveds lackluster sales, id like to believe a sequel would sell allot better but im not so sure.
i hope they do a sequel, well not a sequel, a prequel showing how the world got the way it was in enslaved.
who are the mechs, and how did the world turn into the mess it is.
a little back story on the world, on the mechs, on pyramid, on monkey, trip, and pigsy would be nice.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

tridon
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 8:52:59 AM

Pigsy's Perfect 10 DLC had quite a bit of back-story on Pigsy. It was also hard-as-hell.

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GuyverLT
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 1:05:14 PM

Heaven Sword sold a couple million units and it was a NEW ip and if I'm not mistaken ther quite a few New ip's that sold in the millions, infamous, prototype etc.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

JSwayze
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 12:58:11 AM
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I haven't played the full game, only the demo but it seem like the production was a downgrade from Heavenly Sword

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 2:11:25 AM

That's the Unreal engine being bent in funny ways.

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kraygen
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 1:00:45 AM
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I had little interest in this game to begin with and after trying it out, I'm glad I passed. I hated the character design, top to bottom. He didn't look interesting, his personality wasn't interesting, just didn't do it for me.

As for the gameplay, they cheaped out and used the unreal engine, which was designed for a shooter and is being used to make one crappy game after another. The combat was rather bland, been there done, that.

The platforming was pointless, did anyone else not notice that at least on normal difficulty you couldn't miss a jump or a hand grip. You either pushed the right direction and made it, or you pushed the wrong direction and he did nothing.

I couldn't say anything about the story, but it started off pretty uninteresting to me. Sorry, but this was one game I couldn't get behind and didn't understand where the positive reviews were coming from.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 7 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 11:46:59 PM

Interesting how many people claimed they weren't that fond of the game, but gave little to no reason, I post viable examples of issues the game had and I get thumb down like a maniac.

That's fine, blind love is good for those who have it I guess. I on the other hand don't have money to waste on games I don't enjoy.

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BigBoss4ever
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 1:33:50 AM
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the game just so so mediocre, it is just not unique, just not superb, just not, lets say, original and give you a shiver on your spine when you see it, being the character or the environment or the game mechanism. it just feel dull.

the timing is not the MAIN factor -- u may be to sell a bit more, but real point is --if it is a gem like Dark Souls, or The Last guardian, or Uncharted 3, regardless of which day of release, they will rule. so such is the point.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 2/12/2011 1:35:09 AM

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Beamboom
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 2:44:46 AM

Agreed, blaming on the release date sounds like a *really* bad excuse.

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Snaaaake
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 2:48:19 AM
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Hey Namco, a piece of advice, Knight's Contract release date isn't pretty too so expect that too bomb in sales as well.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Teddie9
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 3:15:06 PM

same date as killzone 3, and bulletstorm is around then too, brilliant.

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 7:06:36 AM
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I think it was better than all them games mentioned in the article, the problem i had was that the game was quite buggy, not to modern Sonic standard, but they did pop up every now and again. But with that out of the way i found Enslaved a refershing change, It was just a fun adventure. Something we need more of.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Looking Glass
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 7:30:56 AM
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I can't believe that they apparently failed to anticipate this problem beforehand. This instance was almost as bad releasing Alan Wake on the same day as Red Dead Redemption. Who the hell decides on these horrible release dates anyway?



Last edited by Looking Glass on 2/12/2011 7:31:50 AM

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Edito
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 7:47:45 AM
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No Namco ur wrong, Enslaved just suck, just have bad character design, bad graphics, weak plot etc and all the other games released in the same time were better and one more thing Ninja Theory sucks in a big way they are full of them selves... i don't want a sequel... sorry guys...

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The Doom
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 12:35:44 PM

"I am...Gundam!"

Last edited by The Doom on 2/12/2011 12:37:55 PM

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tridon
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 8:48:54 AM
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This is very good to hear. I enjoyed Enslaved and I saw TONS of potential for a franchise. I'd love to see the continuing story of Monkey and Trip... or even a prequel showing how they were captured and how the machines first went AWOL.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

oONewcloudOo
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 9:53:24 AM
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wait, heavenly sword gets good sales then ninja theroy says it didnt well sale enough now enslaved sales like crap and it gets a sequal. hippocrates FTW

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

hadouken
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 10:02:00 AM
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I liked enslaved but I do think a spring release date would have definitely helped sales because why release on the same day as a proven franchise like Castlevania?

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Wissam
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 11:17:58 AM
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A crappy game is crappy.

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GuyverLT
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 1:12:44 PM
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I liked Enslaved allot in my opinion & I've said this before, that if they could have fixed all technical issues, and had a more in-depth combat system it would have been a great game instead of just good.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Bonampak
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 2:24:26 PM
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"It launched in the midst of a busy holiday season"


^^^ What a stupid excuse. That season was the best season to sell anything. Anything worth buying, that is.

If their product was mediocre, then sure, they could've tried selling it during the months of the year where sales are slow or whatever.

Spin amateurs at work.

Last edited by Bonampak on 2/12/2011 2:24:55 PM

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johnld
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 9:42:38 PM
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enslaved was a pretty good game. i do agree that it wasnt released at the right time but my reason is a little different. i believe that the right time would be when the game was polished a little more. i mean, i dont remember how much times the voices werent synced in cutscenes, sometimes the delay was just too much. also, those collectibles were a pain to get. theres just too many and most of the time well hidden. it doesnt help that if you die or something, you have to collect the ones before a save point every time. they also made the world colorful which i liked but the collectibles kinda get lost in the scenery making them hard to find.

i did like the game overall, story was great. it wasnt a pain in the a$$ to play like castlevania. and even though its game over when trip dies, you really dont have to do much babysitting so that a plus.

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Gordo
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 11:58:40 PM
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Enslaved was a good game for what is was... The story and characters were better than the actual implementation.

I'm glad I played it (got it half price). Wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if I had payed full price and couldn't trade it back later.

Think it would have been better as a PS3 exclusive. Too grown up for the xbox.

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A2K78
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 10:04:34 AM
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Enslaved relase timming contribute to its failure? If this is the case, then I guess this must have also been the case with Alan Wake and so many other games.

Truth is the release timming have very little, if not zero to do with the success of the game. The real culprit is the fact that games are no longer becoming an impulse buy, especially with a bloated price tag of $60, pluse the additional cost of DLC. Why do I say this? Well this was the excat thing with the past generation of consoles...the $50 price tag was far too much for some gamers to be commitmed in the long run, casual gamers in particular.

Overall whenever I see comments like this, all I see its some business executives giving some ridiculous execuse as to why they game fail.

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Alexeon
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 3:02:17 PM
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Bamco releasing a game with a poorly-thought-out release date? Now where have I seen that before? And then they wonder why the Tales series never makes any money...

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HUSO
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 6:29:19 PM
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Heavenly Sword is the best game that Ninja Theory are ever going to make. They seem to be fresh out of new ideas causing them to recycle the same stuff with a fresh layer of make up. but Ninja Theory is one for the classics. For me its one of the games that defined this generation.

Give us our Heavenly Sword sequel first!!!! If they had stayed with Playstation, these guys would be up there with Naughty Dog and co.

Last edited by HUSO on 2/13/2011 6:30:42 PM

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