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?

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.