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Enslaved's sales prevented studio expansion for Ninja Theory, sequel

It’s time to stop holding your breath for a sequel to Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Seriously, it's not happening. Despite critical success and a devoted fan-base, Ninja Theory’s beautiful adventure game never managed to meet sales expectations. It still shipped an admirable 730k units, which is more than most low-profile games by relatively unknown developers, but according to Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades, it just wasn’t enough...

In an interview with Edge in the most recent issue, Antoniades admitted that Ninja Theory was planning on working on a sequel based on the success of Enslaved and expanding their studio to support another team. In fact, that’s the place they wanted to be in right now. Sadly, the low(ish) sales made it so that wasn’t an option. "Right now we should have been doing a sequel and perfecting that sequel and doing what franchises do, which is get better over time,” he said. "[But] because that didn't happen we've not expanded to two teams like we intended to.”

Things could be worse. Neither Heavenly Sword nor Enslaved managed to pull in Blockbuster numbers, and two disappointments in a row could have led to the studio being shut down – as we’ve seen time and time again this generation. Instead, their work caught the eye of Capcom, who apparently enjoyed their games enough to trust them with a reboot to Devil May Cry. This was a controversial move, but one that may pay off for both companies. Antoniades is glad to get “another chance,” he told Edge, and we’re happy someone gave it to him. As fans of Devil May Cry and Enslaved we’re really looking forward to what they’re able to do with the franchise – we’re just hoping, this time, gamers give them a chance too.

Sep 23, 2011

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40 comments

  • md1292 - September 25, 2011 9:29 p.m.

    That makes me feel a little bad that I still haven't bought this game. Now that it's $20, I'm definitely going to get it.
  • IceBlueKirby - September 25, 2011 2 p.m.

    I enjoyed Enslaved and Heavenly Sword, so I'm glad Capcom gave them a chance. I'm very much looking forward to DmC and I hope it brings in enough money for them to expand and continue making great games.
  • lemur - September 25, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    the funny thing is that I just bought this game two weeks ago. It's supper fun! To bad there would be no sequal.
  • Dondada - September 25, 2011 1:22 a.m.

    Enslaved was an ok game, hence the ok sales. It seemed like a downgrade from Heavenly Sword in quality.
  • SketchLemon - September 24, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    The best part is I actually bought this game! No Okami-style guilt for this spaghetti cat!
  • JBizFoShiz - September 24, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    Everybody, relax. I didn't read the interview from the Edge link, but nowhere did it say that a sequel would NEVER come - just that it has not happened yet. This was certainly one of the more enjoyable gaming experiences of the last few years (except for collecting every single last orb). The voice-acting is easily on the same level as big budget IPs, and the story-telling is fantastic. Definitely, its one major weakpoint is its repetitive combat (especially on Hard), but it's still a breath of fresh air from the game shelves choked with homogeneous FPS titles. Give it a shot. The demo does not convey just how grand of an experience this game can be.
  • Stigweird85 - September 24, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    That's a shame I liked Enslaved and Heavenly Sword. I wonder if Ninja Theory would be better served doing focusing on just character models and animation as they excel at that. Personally I think that the characters in Ninja Theorys games are the best and I have more empathy to their characters than the "realistic" LA Noire
  • CombatWombat101 - September 24, 2011 8 a.m.

    Well that sucks more than I thought possible. I absolutely loved Enslaved. It was nowhere near perfect, and at times it felt way too easy, but the storytelling and voice acting were some of the best I've experienced this console generation. Andy Serkis is a god.
  • man-bear-pig - September 24, 2011 7:12 a.m.

    Fantastic game, shame it didn't catch on. At least the developer is still around. Enslaved is one of the few games I've played that I would enjoy a sequel.
  • quincytheodore - September 23, 2011 9:11 p.m.

    Just curious here, how many copies do they need to sell to be viewed as successful or at least sequel-worthy? I kinda admire Ninja Theory for willing to try something new, I can relate to that. So help them out, guys. Just give them a chance for DMC reboot, or at least don't hate. :)
  • birdro - September 23, 2011 5:40 p.m.

    I dunno if I would really want a sequel. I picked it up a little bit ago, and I liked the style and the characters, but the combat wasn't deep enough to last all game with fights every 6 minutes, and the platforming was pretty simplistic. Also, the ending seriously made me feel like I missed something along the way. (SPOILER) So the guy who has been enslaving people with robots, turning the world into hell and executing anybody who disobeys minor command, actually just wants to make everyone happy in the dreamworld? Which he actually says is a much better alternative to the ROBOTS HE CONTROLS. Like this guy who has been singularly controlling that which makes life hell, is just trying to save everyone. While in the middle of killing them for talking to each other. Like I can see the dogs being out of control maybe, but the ending made not a lick of sense to me.
  • brickman409 - August 22, 2012 5 p.m.

    there was some kind of war that destroyed everything, and he used the robots to protect pyramid. kind of like mr. house and the lucky 38 in fallout new vegas.
  • The_King_of_Nothing - September 23, 2011 4:17 p.m.

    Damn.
  • inconceivable - September 23, 2011 4:17 p.m.

    So pissed. But I'm just using anger to mask my sadness.
  • EBAX1 - September 23, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    Even I just rented it, and its the only game ive rented this console generation
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - September 23, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    The story does not end in a cliffhanger. Also, anyone who liked Enslaved should play the Pigsy DLC. It's not perfect, but the storytelling again is awesome.
  • Redeater - September 23, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    Ugh. First Bulletstorm and now this. For you people that haven't bought this game, go frickin buy it already. You can find it new at damned near everywhere for $20 or under. You have no excuses. The game is not perfect but it stood out in a sea of crappy rythm games and FPS.
  • ChiChiRocket - September 23, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    I am disappoint.
  • iluvpkmnmonday - September 23, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    Did Enslaved's story end on a cliffhanger? I liked the demo and have been meaning to get it but not if the story doesnt end clearly and I know there will be no sequel.
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - September 23, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    i still havent played enslaved, but everyone sounds really sad about this and its a shame to see a promising new IP die.. if I go buy a copy tomorrow do you think they will change their mind?

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