Enslaved sales fail to break 500,000 mark, says Namco

Thursday, 3rd February 2011 11:49 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Namco Bandai’s said today that Ninja Theory’s Enslaved: Odyssey to the West failed to break the 500,000 mark.

The action title released last October for PS3 and 360 to critical acclaim from media and gamers alike, but didn’t do too well in sales, as now confirmed by the company in its Q3 financials. It’s sold 460,000 to date.

Despite that, it was only last week that Namco Bandai UK marketing director Lee Kirton said that the IP still had a future.

Ninja Theory is currently working on the reboot to Devil May Cry for Capcom, DMC. It’s also working on a second unannounced game it was hiring for last year. Speculation immediately pointed towards Enslaved 2.

Thanks, Eurogamer.



  1. Erthazus

    As i said before someone said that it was sold for 1 million or whatever.

    Ninja Theory can suck ass, i’m sure DMC will sell 700K just because it is a well known franchise.

    Ninja Theory can go to hell.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Johnny Cullen


    #2 4 years ago
  3. M2Kx

    I’m also no “fan” of ninja theory, but I’m surprised that it didn’t sell more. I mean sure, it was released the same time as the Castlevania blockbuster, but Enslaved is also a great singleplayer experience that shouldn’t be missed by any gamer who likes a decent story, simple and fun gameplay but most important, the great voice acting and graphics.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. typeface

    To be honest it was an alright game but it’s definitely not one of those games that would have sold really well.

    It has all the markings of a Syfy miniseries in all fairness rather than a game.
    As for a future, the game could have a future as a downloadable title/series. When you look at the quality of some downloadable games and some full retail releases this would have actually fit better as a downloadable title. It’s just the cast and factors like that probably raised the budget for this one.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    I saw it coming, really this kind of game just doesn’t have the draw it used too. The list is long of games that underachive. But really this thing had PS2 gen written all over it.

    NT needs to add a few layers of rpg to their adventure games. These games just need more depth, imo.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. earlyrock

    Heavenly Sword 2 please… :(

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Blerk

    Not really surprising, sadly. There was next to no ‘buzz’ about it before release, it appeared and went without much in the way of promotion, it launched about the same time as Castlevania and the demo wasn’t great either.

    From what I could tell they spent a lot of time and money on story and graphics when what it really needed was a bit more work on the gameplay itself. And some promotion could’ve helped.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Michael O’Connor

    “But really this thing had PS2 gen written all over it.”

    What the hell are you smoking, O.G.?

    #8 4 years ago
  9. RaisinBran

    This doesn’t bode well for Ninja Theory. They have yet to create a game that has sold well.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. M2Kx

    ´What the hell are you smoking, O.G.?´

    My thoughts Oo

    #10 4 years ago
  11. mescalineeyes

    Thank god we are not rewarding mediocrity with success.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. back_up

    hahaha they left sony because they were complaining about sales of Heavenly Sword and they did not earn much money from sony by making Heavenly Sword
    and now ninja theory are owned

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Aimless

    I think what OlderGamer is getting at is that Enslaved is the sort of game that would have wowed people back in the PS2/Xbox/GameCube era, but by today’s standards it feels too basic and mechanical; since the 360 launched the bar of mediocrity has been raised a lot.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    Only the good stuff MO’C, only the good stuff!

    I wasn’t talking about the graphics, of course. I was talking about the gameplay and aproach. This game would have been a hit a few years ago. So would have Heavenly Sword. But today nothing about these games grabs peoples attention. I think you could look at a lot of game franchises and say the samething.

    From mascot driven franchises like Spyros, Crashes, and Rachet n Clanks to RPGS like FF, or the line of Namco bandai ones coming out to a lot of traditionaly big selling impact games.

    I wonder if games are a bit like music used to be. Where at some point it becomes uncool to listen to what your folks listen to with music, it becomes uncool to play what your parents/older brothers/whatever played. Kind of a generational thing.

    I know Nintendo does well recycling their franchises, but they only target kids/families. they are going after a different demographic. In truth they are really selling their products to moms and dads for their kids, not to the kids themself. I can’t tell you how many wii owners I see get mad at their folks for not bringing home a xb360. But whatever, I think they just have a different strategy, their games are timeless and marketed towards new players.

    As for the general pool of players elsewhere, I think games from past generations lose their draw in new generations. I would kill for a really good 2D top down shooter like the ones like Gunbird, Strikers, etc. I would flip fpr a well done Gaurdian Heros. But in truth those games would flop and flop hard if they came out.

    Thats what is happening now with certian game styles.

    With some of NJ games I was thinking that some more depth to the game would help. They should establish some char dev traits. that often gets the player more invested into the experience. Cause the last couple I have played felt very flat.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    And yes, what Aimless said.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. orakaa

    @14 : not sure it would flop. I mean, look at Bionic Commando Rearmed : it did fairly well in terms of sales.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. M2Kx

    It’s just about Publicity. Assassin’s Creed(1) was one of the worst games I’ve ever played, but they hyped the shit into it(hi Jade *waves*), so that it got Ubi a bunch of money.

    If NJ would’ve hyped Enslaved as much as Ubi hyped AC, than maybe they would make a better game in the second run, with more depth etc. like Ubi did with AC2, which is absolutely great :)

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Thalius

    Too bad… i really liked this game.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. sony_sucks

    fucking sony ruined ninja theory. they got drilled in sonys shitty mantra of all graphics no gameplayand now they make rubbish movies pretending to be games.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Zurtech

    I’m not surprised by how many it sold given it’s a fairly niche title, but saying that, I thought it as great and think Ninja Theory are a refreshing change from all the drudge of FPS and soulless “blockbusters” that are being pushed down our throats.

    Even if it had a larger PR campaign I still think it’d be a niche title, just purely cos Ninja Theory’s games are more akin to movies, what Andy Serkis is mostly known for. Personally I think his company is probably the first true step to bridging Movies and Games.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Robo_1

    It was a decent game but I did regret paying full price for it. Having completed it, I just don’t feel at all compelled to return to it.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Aimless

    @17 I agree with that to an extent, you can totally brute force a decent amount of success through marketing. You do need a hook to hang the PR on, though.

    Assassin’s Creed was a very non-standard game in a lot of ways, but at the heart of it you could stab dudes and it said ‘Assassin’ in the title. I imagine quite a lot of people that picked it up had no real idea what they were getting into, but there was enough there to reel them in via expectations, even false ones. Enslaved lacked the same sort of base messaging, in fact if memory serves all the PR surrounding it talked about the cutscenes, not what you actually did in the game.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Ercarret

    It’s a little sad to see. It was a good game – not great, but good – and it deserved a better marketing push. I was actually surprised when it was released because the game wasn’t on my radar at all. The demo was quite dissapointing so if it hadn’t been because of a lot of friends who’d played it and recommended it, I never would have picked it up. I’m glad I finally did, but it’s not surprising that a lot of people didn’t.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. M2Kx

    ^ And there you can clearly see the difference between successful publishers (Ubisoft) and less successful (NamcoBandai).

    NJ talking some crap about their great voice actors and stuff, not telling that it’s also an entertaining singleplayer experience with some side story between the characters, something that makes this game special imo.

    Ubi makes Jade Raymong just tell the people how awesome Altair is, not telling how lame the rest of the game is.

    It’s simple and it works, that’s why there’s a lot of people who buy games because of the hype, not because it seems interesting.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. M2Kx

    #24 was referred to #22 (damn edit button :P)

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Malmer

    Not surpriced.

    The story had an interesting premise, but failed to deliver on it.
    The graphics were hyped as unique, but was a bad execution that had the same colorpalette throught the game. Compare it with uncharted or Prince of Persia from 2008 and it quickly looks really bad.
    And the female protagonist was severly underdeveloped as a character.

    Found nothing special with this game, and I love single player stories.

    But the eyes where amazingly good and so was the voice-acting. To bad the script was awful. Gameplay was kinda fun though.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. pukem0n

    it deserved so much more

    #27 4 years ago
  28. ianbenoir

    Robots = lack of creativity

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Nozz

    If only they let me fall in the demo…

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Amored

    This game deserves more.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. lexph3re

    Its not that the game doesn’t get all the credit it deserves. It just doesn’t get all the consumers it deserve. It is kinda sad that they went from selling their first game at 500k on 1 system to selling their second game at 470k on 2 systems. I guess they thought that the game would just sell itself. I didn’t go for the game when I had to choose between that and castlevania. I already knew which ever one I didn’t get I would get bargain bin. But, later with reviews and comparisons I realised that CloS was the better buy

    #31 4 years ago
  32. M2Kx

    I have both of them and ejoyed them equally. (of course castlevania a bit longer ;D)

    #32 4 years ago
  33. OrbitMonkey

    @19 …a boring…

    #33 4 years ago
  34. spiderLAW

    it was decent, the few levels i played before selling it for castelvania anyways. Might go back to it when its $20 US.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Detale

    I enjoyed Enslaved a great deal, played through completely twice (mainly to give try a stealthier approach on the harder difficulty, and to grab some more of the trophies).

    Did anyone give the Pigsy DLC a go? Just curious to see if it was any good. Not curious enough to spend the cash though :)

    #35 4 years ago
  36. rainer

    Disappointing news for a good game and a new IP, pretty much reinforces publisher viewpoints of not doing new games.

    They could have spent more on marketing and kicked out a PC version too, if your going to rely on word of mouth for selling the game.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. osric90

    I hope this makes Ninja Theory change their ways and so they cancel their “DmC” and let the saga return to Japan. I would say “time to shut down, Ninja Theory!” but it’s so worn off.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. lexph3re

    I wouldn’t go as far as to say they need to shut down. They are still a fairly new company, I loved the work they did on heavenly sword. And I’m looking forward to their dante. I just had little reserved for enslaved. I love the journey to the west story but I’m kinda sick of the cliche re-interpretations of it. I think what ninja theory needs to do is go steady with a publisher. Atleast for their next few games. Go the naughty dog route and become a first party dev.

    They have mad potential but their like a fresh pick that’s touting about like the big dogs.

    #38 4 years ago
  39. FrankieDF

    This coming from the same publisher who expected Majin and the Forsaken kingdom to be a million plus seller without any sort of marketing.
    I’m not surprised at all that any of their games don’t live up to sales expectations.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. AHA-Lambda

    i thought i heard this sold nearly a milion?

    oh well this story sounds more plausible anyway. Tried the demo and thought it was shit. Also general ninja theory hate aswell doesnt help -_-

    #40 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.