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Today brings some bad news for fans of Obsidian’s espionage-based RPG Alpha Protocol. Publisher Sega West has confirmed that, due to poor critical reception, any plans for a sequel have gone out the window.

Sega West president Mike Hayes explained, “Let’s speak very commercially; the game hasn’t sold what we’ve expected, therefore we won’t be doing a sequel.”

Hayes went on to say, “The concept was brilliant, though. You know this whole thing with Metacritic where you have to be in the high 70s to mid-80s minimum [to have any success] – well, with RPGs you have got to be in the late 80s.” He continued, “Whilst we had a good game, I don’t think we had a game that had enough to get us to that upper echelon and I think that was the issue.”

While I have no personal experience with Alpha Protocol, numerous reviews on Metacritic (including our own) cite buggy gameplay, poor AI, and repetitiveness as reasons for the low scores.

While this may not be the most ground breaking news, it does raise some interesting questions. Mainly, do you guys think that review aggregators like Metacritic are actually responsible for Alpha Protocol‘s low sales, or do you think that Sega is shifting the blame away from the fact that they released a poor game? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Source: Shacknews.com

  1. While I’m not a fan on how consumers and developers have turned Metacritic into a benchmark for a game’s commercial success, the bottom line is that if a game is broken, it’s not going to do well.

    The problem with saying “Oh the game didn’t sell what we expected” is that if the game has buggy AI and gameplay – to the point where just about every review has to comment on it – then it’s hard to use sales as a gauge of consumer interest. I _seriously_ doubt there’s a low interest in a Western-style Espionage RPG where you can play the game several different ways, and your actions have tangible, lasting repercussions. There is, however, a low interest in a game which makes you wonder how it ever got out of the QA department alive.

  2. Uh geez, the game wasn’t really that bad. It actually had a very strong story and conversation system component. The combat was a bit wonky but I think at the same time this comes down to the fans fault more than anyone elses.

    Maybe it is just me but I remember back when a year ago (give or take) they delayed the game because playtesters complained it was more Shooter than RPG and seemed to have no RPG elements. Now I wonder if the gameplay didn’t suffer because of the changes they made as a result of this. Because honestly I hear the same complaints about Mass Effect 2 and lets be honest, there is still plenty of RPG there at least in the “role playing” form if not the character sheet number jumble min maxing junk.

  3. avatar Raithe

    There was that weird split in reviews across the board.. The majority of European based reviews seemed to love it because of the storyline and consequences of choice even with the small flaws in the background. But then most of the USA based reviews hammered it for the stat based shooter and played up the flaws without really mentioning the story or character… It felt like people were playing totally different games.

    It makes you wonder just how that shifted metacritic and the like… Sure, there wasn’t the sheer amount of polish and swish you see on the triple-A titles, but I’d say the amount of actual flaws was around the same.

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