Great games don’t always directly result in great sales. Unfortunately this sad fact is one that many developers have to live with and it often leads to them taking less and less risks because it could result in job loss and franchises being put out to pasture. Sadly, this fate has been dealt to several franchises this generation, some of which, we loved tremendously. It’s great to talk about awesome games that we can look forward to, but sometimes we need to take a moment and look back at the fallen soldiers that had many fans, just not many sales.
We’ve compiled a list of titles below that were absolutely fantastic and we’d be willing to play multiple times, but were taken from us early due to gamers not opening up wallets to new and great experiences. If you think we missed a game, feel free to let us know, but these are our Top 5 franchises that sales killed.
When Heavenly Sword was announced, it immediately drew comparisons as being the female God of War. While this was ultimately true, and the game delivered on the hack-and-slash mechanic, Ninja Theory didn’t strike God of War gold when it came to sales and profit. That didn’t matter to gamers though, as playing as Nariko and Kai was a tremendous amount of fun and the first game where shooting a potential adventurer in the knee was first available.
Sadly, Heavenly Sword failed to break even — shutting the door on any potential sequel for fans of the franchise. Some of us still hope for these IP to return, but it’s unlikely going forward.
People Can Fly’s Bulletstorm was crass, but delivered over-the-top violence in a way that aimed to breathe new life into the tired first-person shooter. You kicked and whipped enemies around, setting them up for whatever ridiculous kills that you could dream up. With the multitude of crazy weapons and outrageous firing modes at your disposal, the sky was the limit.
However, Epic Games declared that Bulletstorm had failed to turn a profit, with president Mike Capps stating that a sequel that had initially been planned was ultimately cancelled. Instead, People Can Fly were put to work on Gears of War Judgment, and the rest is history.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur was the somewhat hack-and-slash variant of Elder Scrolls: Skyrim for some gamers and while the similarities did exist, the two games were vastly different. Unfortunately for 38 Studios, KOA: Reckoning wasn’t as sought after or anticipated as an Elders Scrolls title. Though the game did offer an amazingly fun combat system, the ability to pick up hundreds of items, and the option to play the game in so many exciting ways, gamers just didn’t embrace it enough to make it a viable lifelong franchise.
38 Studios managed to sell 1.2 million copies within the first 90 days of release which is impressive in its own right, but according to Rhode Island’s Governor, the game needed 3 million in sales to turn a profit. This left the Governor repeatedly referring to the title as a failure. Shortly after, 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy and the dream of having a new franchise to enjoy quickly went bankrupt with it.