Namco “exploring new opportunities with Enslaved,” says UK marketing boss

By Johnny Cullen, Wednesday, 20 July 2011 22:51 GMT

Enslaved: Journey to the West has won Best New IP award at tonight’s Develop Awards. But you know what’s even more exciting for Trip and Monkey fans? Namco Bandai is looking at new ways to explore the series, the publisher’s Lee Kirton has told VG247.

UK marketing director Kirton told us in an interview you’ll see in full on the site soon that while sales were not as great as expected in the beginning of the game’s life last October – sales were last reported at 730,000 in May – long-term sales are looking “good,” and that it still forsees a future with the IP: something that he has touched upon before.

In fact, it’s now “exploring” other “opportunities” within the series.

“Enslaved is still a title we focus on yes,” said Kirton.

“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 admitted that there was some “negativity” with the game, especially in regards to the demo of the Ninja Theory actioner, but insists that there is still love out there for the game overall.

“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,” said Kirton.

“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.

“The demo was such a small part of the overall experience that I think those that enjoy superb games such as Heavy Rain, LA Noir and Uncharted should give it a go.”

Big up the Enslaved, Namco Bandai and Ninja Theory massive for their Develop win. Congrats to all. Watch for the full Lee Kirton interview soon, and we’ll have more details on the full list of winners from the Develop Awards tomorrow morning.

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