Enslaved almost had online multiplayer, more DLC

Ninja Theory has revealed that Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was once in line for some significant expansions, but that lackluster sales of the game killed any hopes of future DLC.

Reflecting on deeds undone in the latest issue of Edge magazine, the studio said it had planned to beef up Enslaved with a multiplayer online game in which players would scoot around with friends on Monkey's “cloud” hoverboard. What's more, Ninja Theory had hoped to give the story more room to breathe with additional DLC beyond Pigsy's Perfect 10.

Unfortunately, Ninja Theory's passion for Enslaved didn't match that of the general public, prompting the studio to move on to more dependable projects like its upcoming Devil May Cry reboot, DmC. Speaking candidly about Enslaved's mark on the industry, creative director Tameem Antoniades noted: “I'm not sure. We wanted to create affecting characters that felt more like real people than cardboard cutouts. If the game had been more successful, perhaps other games would follow suit and deem it a worthwhile pursuit. But perhaps instead it will be held as an example of why it doesn't matter. Either way, it won't stop us from trying. I truly believe characters and story can elevate the gameplay and affect people in deep and satisfying ways."

In an earlier interview, Ninja Theory's Lee Kirton said the studio was “very proud” of how it was received by those who played it, and hinted a sequel was still a possibility. Sadly, that dream later died when Ninja Theory realized it did not have the manpower to work on both an Enslaved sequel and the new DmC.

"Right now we should have been doing a sequel and perfecting that sequel and doing what franchises do, which is get better over time,” explained Antoniades in a chat with Edge last September, adding, "[But] because that didn't happen we've not expanded to two teams like we intended to. So we've remained a smaller shop. But now we get another chance with DMC."

So there you have it: the life and death of a franchise with massive potential. It's always possible Ninja Theory might try again down the road – spinoff PSN/XBLA game, anyone? – but we're not holding out any hope. Are you?

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  • wampastompa - February 16, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    Here is the reality of the market today. If your game does not have a deep online multiplayer component (CoD) or a lengthy single player campaign (Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect), then consumers have a really hard time justifying that $60 price tag. I bought Enslaved used for $20, played it and absolutely loved it. If it had come out for $30, I probably would've bought it new, but with a limited budget, I can't sink $60 into a game I'm only going to play for 5-10 hours.
  • bruh-man-fifthfloor - February 16, 2012 7:01 a.m.

    Oh man, this game is one of my favorite games of all time. It had its issues with a few things but I loved it. It sounds like if the new DMC does well, there is a "possibility" that this franchise will get rebooted.
  • radiodeaf - February 15, 2012 11:55 a.m.

    enslaved keeps getting totted as the game everyone didn't play but really really should have. sadly I think it's the opposite. too much praise for a game that barely got the "story" piece right. not to say the acting , such as the above scene, are truly amazing. the beginning was really interesting as you escaped the ship and crash landed. Then it goes down hill... repetitive, gameplay that was lacking or limited in it's planning, stuck with some visuals that didn't live up to what people expected. mediocre gameplay aside, I do like the scene above. but we need to stop making some of these games into instant art classics that were ignorantly forgotten. they didn't deserve that title. hell, only game I felt really deserved that was Psychonauts.
  • Redeater - February 15, 2012 2:28 p.m.

    Your entitled to your opinion but I think you are being unnecessarily harsh. I have sadly not played Psychonauts but I have heard the exact same criticisms from gamers about Psychonauts. Just remember that while you might not consider it a classic many people do (including myself). Besides, I'm sure there are many, many, many, MANY gamers who will tell you that you are completely wrong about anything and the only good games are Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty. So.....yeah
  • radiodeaf - February 23, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    why do you lecture me over my opinion if you clearly understand it's an opinion?
  • Boonehams - February 15, 2012 11:55 a.m.

    I really liked this game and thought it had some of the most compelling, well-animated characters to ever appear in a game. Given that the ending was a bit of a big question mark, it's sad to know that a sequel will probably never come. Then again, I never thought Epic Mickey was going to get a sequel, but things change.
  • stfueuan - February 15, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    Major, sincere sadface right here. Although Enslaved really doesn't MP, new DLC and a sequel would have been glorious. I love Enslaved, it truly is one my most favourite in my collection.
  • Sketchydevil - February 15, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    I thought Enslaved was alright. I beat it. it was cool I just didn't think it was really that awesome overall. Creatively it was awesome, and the story was good but I found it sorta meh overall. Environemnts are really pretty though
  • db1331 - February 15, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    God, if there's ever a game that absolutely did not need MP, Enslaved is it. I loved it. I still plan on getting the Pigsy DLC some day.
  • Boonehams - February 15, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    You said it. Even though the idea of going against other players on the cloud could be cool if done like a racing game, it still seems a bit unnecessary.
  • Redeater - February 15, 2012 2:20 p.m.

    I couldn't recommend it enough. The actual gameplay leaves something to be desired but the story is totally worth it. Made me very sad about Pigsey and I really wanted to see more of him.

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