Top 10 Best Video Games That Sold Poorly


Top 10 Best Video Games That Sold Poorly

Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing a list of Top 10 Best Video Games That Sold Poorly. As someone who knows exactly what it’s like to be extremely popular and supremely talented, it came as quite a surprise to find that sometimes things can be really good, yet not get the credit they deserve. It’s true! Just look at the music charts to see that quantity of sales does not necessarily reflect quality of product. Whether it was due to a saturated market, a lack of advertising, an unusual premise, or just poor timing, the following games wowed critics, but zipped right under the radar of the paying public. So let’s get started.

10. System Shock 2 

Spooky space-based FPS/RPG System Shock 2 was a huge leap forward for story-driven games. Designed by industry icon Ken Levine, the game was released back in 1999 to rapturous praise from the gaming press. It received game of the year awards and glowing reviews aplenty, but did all of this praise translate into huge commercial success? No. Released for the PC when the likes of Doom, Quake and Unreal Tournament were dominating the FPS scene, System Shock 2 never quite achieved the sales it deserved.  Now, you probably already know this, but System Shock 2 designer Ken Levine would go on to helm a spiritual successor to his 1999 masterpiece. This game was called Bioshock, and it replaced the cold, dark void of space with the cold, dark void of the ocean. It would also likely qualify for a list of 10 Great Games That Sold Well.

9. Spec Ops: The Line 

Almost all gamers heartily enjoy strapping on a pair of virtual combat boots and charging blissfully into a battlefield while waving a digital assault rifle and whooping maniacally. Few have stopped to wonder whether such high-octane action experiences set in present-day combat theatres are a little too close for comfort, however. 2K Games' 2012 third-person shooter Spec Ops: The Line attempted to challenge players with a war game that was light on the bravery, glory and flag-waving, and heavy on the atrocities, tragedy and aftermath. “How dare you enjoy this?” says Spec Ops: The Line. “It's horrible!” No prizes for guessing how well that went down with the general public. Honestly, though, it's likely that many people at the time just thought that it was another modern FPS to go along with the countless others that were lining the shelves, and decided to give it a pass. If you were one of those people, you really missed out on something quite spectacular. While critics had mixed opinions on the gameplay and longevity of the title, almost all of them praised the storyline and art direction. The game featured numerous harrowing scenes, and a player character who acts irrationally in the face of the terrible decisions he has to make in the heat of battle.

8. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 

With a huge, open world, extensive character customisation, strategic real-time combat, lore created by R.A . Salvatore and artwork created by Todd McFarlane, Kingdoms of Amalur ticked a lot of boxes. Visually reminiscent of the Fable series, the game also channelled the likes of The Elder Scrolls. Reviewers praised the gameplay, story and skill progression, and the few players who did try it out enjoyed a high-quality RPG experience. It’s had a cult following ever since, but cult followings don't often equate to much revenue. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning hoped to be the beginning of a new mega-franchise, but it fell at the first hurdle; co-publishers 38 Games filed for bankruptcy soon after release. It's not all doom and gloom though. With a re-release hitting the shelves in 2020, perhaps there's life in the old dog yet. I reckon you should give it a try. 

7. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath 

Developers Oddworld Inhabitants were clearly expecting something else when they dreamed up the fourth main entry in the Oddworld series. Unfortunately for Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, things didn't quite pan out.  In the game, players take on the role of a crossbow-toting bounty hunter known as Stranger. Looking like Clint Eastwood put through some kind of terrifying horse filter, Stranger stalks the Western-themed setting looking for outlaws with bounties on their heads. Of course, there's more to it than that, and those players who did take the plunge were treated to an emotional and twisting tale as Stranger's origins are gradually revealed. Also, the crossbow fires live bugs and critters. It’s adorable and revolting at the same time. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath did exceptionally well with critics, and picked up numerous awards, but fell completely flat with consumers. Perhaps Electronic Arts' lack of marketing was to blame, or maybe the unusual premise was just too hard to sell to the average gamer. Either way, there are HD remakes out there for those who missed it, so hopefully it finds the audience it deserves. 

6. Panzer Dragoon Saga 

The first two Panzer Dragoon games were highly-regarded exclusives for the Sega Saturn. They were on-rails shooting games, in which players piloted a powerful dragon and blasted enemies with multi-coloured homing lasers. That's right; these particular dragons eschew the traditional fiery breath in favour of laser beams. Does this make them more or less awesome? Anyway, hoping to compete with the massively successful Final Fantasy series, Sega decided that the third Panzer Dragoon game needed to be an RPG. After a long and arduous development period, what eventually popped out was one of the most wonderfully unusual RPGs ever made, and a game that was absolutely cutting edge for its time. Unfortunately, it was never given the opportunity to thrive. Despite being the best-reviewed game on the Saturn, by the time it hit shelves, Sega's focus was firmly on the Dreamcast. As a result, Panzer Dragoon Saga was shipped in pitifully limited numbers, and those poor laser-dragons never stood a chance. 

5. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West 

Andy Serkis certainly found his niche as a mo-cap actor. In Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, he's at it again, taking on the role of player character Monkey in this post-apocalyptic retelling of the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West. This visually spectacular action-adventure was well-received by critics, and it impressed players with its simple but brutal combat, colourful world, heartfelt story and characters. Alas, it didn't sell well, and a planned sequel was scrapped. Releasing in October of 2010, Enslaved found itself in a very crowded market. Here in the West, it released on the very same day as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. The two games occupied the same genre, both had big-name actors involved, and both were very, very good, but Lords of Shadow had that established Castlevania name behind it. Unsurprisingly, it left poor Monkey and friends in the post-apocalyptic dust. 

4. Beyond Good & Evil 

At this point, you might be noticing an unfortunate pattern. Most of these games tried to do something outside the norm, and got punished for it. Ubisoft's 2003 action-adventure Beyond Good & Evil is perhaps the most tragic example, with a disparity between quality and sales performance that's enough to make a grown man cry. In this atmospheric adventure, players take control of young journalist and fan of all things green, Jade. The game offers a fascinating world to explore with a great story to sink your teeth into, and it is now considered by many to be one of the greatest games of all time. So why the lack of sales? Well, it was probably that tried-and-tested combination of poor advertising and a saturated market. Ubisoft was more interested in pushing Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and Beyond Good & Evil struggled to get noticed. It's a shame to think that if creator Michael Ancel had played things a little more safely, he might have had a big hit on his hands. 

3. Okami 

We weren't sure at first if Okami really qualified for this list. It's a great game for sure, but with the various re-releases, it does seem to have shifted a few copies over the years. However, once we saw that it was named in the Guinness Book of World Records: Gamer's Edition as the "least commercially successful winner of a game of the year award," it became clear that Okami fits right in. Doing the whole "Zelda-style game in which you play as a wolf" thing at around the same time as Zelda itself did it with Twilight Princess, players take on the role of Amaterasu, a goddess in the form of a white wolf, and a very, very good girl. The gameplay sees Amaterasu explore, fight and solve puzzles in a stunning world that is stylised as an immersive Japanese ink-wash painting. So, what caused Okami to miss out on the sales it so clearly deserved? Well, some might say that with the traditional art style, celestial paintbrush mechanics and with most console owners considering it a bit too “out there” for their tastes. By the time of Okami's Western PS2 release in 2007, the Xbox 360 was already going strong and the likes of Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare were lighting up the gaming scene. 

2. FreeSpace 2 

Despite sounding a bit like a program that cleans out your hard drive, FreeSpace 2 was an incredibly well-reviewed space-combat sim released for the PC in 1999. With a Metacritic ranking of 91 and featuring stunning graphics for the time, exceptional dogfighting and a gripping storyline, it's hard to believe that the game failed to come close to its sales expectations. So, what went wrong? One possible reason put forward by developers Volition was the dwindling popularity of the joystick. Well suited to games involving flight and aerial combat, the joystick was receding in popularity, thanks to the rise of the FPS scene and the mouse-and-keyboard control style. Even if a publisher manages to secure a massive, worldwide license like Star Wars, sales would likely pale in comparison to an FPS or third-person action game using the same IP. 

1. EarthBound 

With the benefit of hindsight, quirky SNES RPG EarthBound had an uphill battle to achieve commercial success in the West. Shrugging off the more traditional, fantastical settings of contemporaries like Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy, EarthBound developers HAL Laboratory opted for a present-day send up of Western culture in cutesy, goofy, turn-based form. It was a risky move that didn't work out. The game performed poorly in America and was not released in Europe until 2013, via the Wii U. Its reputation, however, has grown, and EarthBound is now viewed as a classic by Nintendo fans and RPG enthusiasts alike. The captivating storyline and intelligent humour provide an interesting juxtaposition to its cartoony graphics and offbeat tone, and it was a commendably brave move to shy away from the established norms of dragons, knights and sorcerers. Commendably brave, but not all that profitable. 

That is it from today’s post on Top 10 Best Video Games That Sold Poorly. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. 

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Hey there! I'm Chandan and I'm from India. I'm a writer and youtuber. You can contact me at: pinterest

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