Enslaved’s poor sales: it’s all your fault
Enslaved is a good game. This is not just Play’s opinion – it’s shared by the gaming press in general. It was scored 83% by our fair hand, and currently enjoys a Metacritic rating of 79 on PS3. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, this is actually a very good score.
The game was advertised up the hoo-ha, appearing all over television, in magazines and plastered over the back of websites both covering video games and things that aren’t video games. So it was warmly received by the press and it was advertised widely enough for those not interested in games to know about it.
It had some ‘Hollywood’ names attached to it – everybody’s favourite bloke-who-was-King-Kong, Andy Serkis, was joined by the writing talent of Alex Garland, a man who wrote a book that was turned into a film you’ll know about, as well as writing a couple of films you’ll know about (minus the book thing). So there was something lacking from most games in the shape of star power, even if it wasn’t Hollywood ‘A’ list.
But sales on PS3 have barely scraped beyond the 75,000 threshold (numbers here). It’s not the lowest number we’ve seen for a game, but it is a surprisingly small number for a game so well-received, so high profile and with such star power behind it.
So I’m just wondering: why haven’t you bought it? Why have you consigned an original property to the doldrums? Why have you given the suits at the top another excuse to avoid taking chances on new, interesting and exciting games? I’m not even saying Enslaved was all of those things – I’d go more down the route that it was an interesting and good-looking title that while it didn’t bring anything new to the table, did do what it set out to do with style and heart. But the gaming public’s reticence to purchase a game whose only real risk was being an unknown name… well, what does that say for the future of games that actually take risks? It’s not looking that bright.
This may seem like rather an aggressive article, blaming gamers across the world in a wholesale fashion for the apparent failure of a new IP. That’s because that’s what it is. The gaming press did their job, Namco Bandai did their job and Ninja Theory did their job. If this doesn’t end up being a slow-burner and sell the numbers it deserves to sell, you only have yourselves to blame if we face a console future of Nothing But Military Shooters. Seeing as Enslaved is now clocking in at about £25 and below in shops across the nation, you now have the perfect chance to redeem yourselves. Get on it.