Namco wants to explore new opportunities for Enslaved

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Enslaved-Odyssey-to-the-West-Preview

If you haven’t played Enslaved yet, you’ve missed out on a great experience. Despite being a somewhat short game, it was a visually stunning title that managed to combine the ancient Chinese story, Journey to the West, with post apocalyptic themes and fantastic digital character acting. Despite receiving several honours, awards and numerous high scores, Enslaved never really set the charts on fire, with short term sales of the game being rather average. But Namco Bandai is looking at alternative methods in which to continue the tale of Enslaved.

In an interview with VG24/7, Namco Bandai UK marketing director Lee Kirton explained how over the long term, Enslaved has actually begun to sell well, meaning that it could become a signature franchise for the publisher.

Its sales are actually good long term, but were they to the level that we wanted in the beginning? Unfortunately not, and we understand some of the issues that may have caused this.

However, it’s a great game, with great visuals and great British talent behind it. We are exploring new opportunities with Enslaved of course. As a videogame developer and publisher we have learned a lot, and this industry continues to on a regular basis, and yes there would have been some things that would have been done different.

Ultimately what we did was put a lot of love behind something that we truly respected. We built a great amount of awareness around the title, we created a “word of mouth” buzz, it got great reviews, got picked all across the national press, lifestyle media, got some great nominations for many awards and Namco Bandai is mentioned as a publishing hero.

Kirton then explained how much confidence the publisher had for the Team Ninja developed title, and spoke about his love for the game.

In terms of what was accomplished, I can personally tell you that the game was one of the best experiences that I have ever had the pleasure of being part of.

It was a great demonstration for real full-performance capture within an interactive world. The story felt fresh, the music unique, the characters had a lot of believability and the gameplay was simple yet addictive, as well as visually stimulating. It was a story that was meant to be experienced and it sometimes makes me sad when I see it on shelves at such a low price.

So much has been released that doesn’t stack up to the overall quality that Enslaved delivered, and I do think that many people need to experience it if they haven’t as yet. I’ve read both sides of the forums, and maybe not everyone enjoyed the demo so much, but there’s always negativity out there, but an incredible amount of love overall for those that played it.

If Namco Bandai does decide to allow for a sequel, there are areas within which Enslaved can improve, such as replay value, less twitchy controls and maybe even add in some challenge or multiplayer modes. But so long as they keep the exciting narrative and unique visual design of the first game, with characters that showcase an amazing range of emotions, then at least critically, they could have another winner on their hands. Lets just hope that the next one sells better.

Source: VG247

 

Last Updated: July 21, 2011

Darryn Bonthuys

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