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C&VG: Sega rules out Alpha Protocol sequel


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http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=254575

Sega rules out Alpha Protocol sequel

No more versions of Obsidian title planned - despite 'brilliant concept'

 

Sega has ruled out the possibility of it publishing a sequel to Alpha Protocol - as it admits that the game's sales were lower than expected.

 

The Obsidian-developed spy RPG won some good reviews - but ended up with a sub-70 average on Metacritic.

 

Sega West president Mike Hayes told CVG that the game didn't sell as well as the publisher expected - but that the firm was proud of the "concept" of the title.

 

"Let's speak very commercially; the game hasn't sold what we've expected, therefore we won't be doing a sequel," said Hayes.

 

"The concept was brilliant, though," he added. "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.

 

"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.

 

"Again, the amount you need to invest to get there is so large because RPGs are naturally big projects. We've decided we won't do a sequel."

 

Check back on CVG later this week for our full interview with Mike Hayes.

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But unfortunate.

 

True, but what can you do about that?

As far as I remember the Alpha Protocol IP is owned by SEGA, so, my actual hope is that, now that Obsidian has some experience with that type of gameplay, they can return to it in the future with an original IP, maybe something akin what Avellone was talking about in the GameBanshee interview.

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Somewhat predictable, but still **** off, Sega. I'd like them to point out a game that actually sold well this spring after RDR came out (other than Super Mario something something for Wii and RDR). They messed up completely with their marketing in the first place and then released the game against several major titles after their brilliant plan to publish it at a better time which only hurt the game.

Hate the living, love the dead.

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I don't think that SEGA own Alpha Protocol IP is a problem.

The game could get some other name than Alpha Protocol 2.

 

I hope Obsidian will not give up, and they will bring to the players one day "Beta Protocol". (Remember Monoliths Project Origin (FEAR 2), the renamed to FEAR 2: Project Origin? Hope is still here)

 

It should be in their interest to bring a sequel to this awesome story driven game. :shifty:

 

 

Sorry for my english.

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I don't think that SEGA own Alpha Protocol IP is a problem.

The game could get some other name than Alpha Protocol 2.

 

But it still wouldn't be a true Alpha Protocol sequel, even in the loose sense (meaning : set in the same world but with an unrelated character as protagonist and a different story).

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This is fine, AP can stand on its own. It's a bit like Bioshock or Deus Ex, it doesn't need a sequel.

 

I like how the announcement wasn't business-speak, the sort of thing Activision or other big publishers constantly use.

Edited by WILL THE ALMIGHTY

"Alright, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade - make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I'm going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"

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This is fine, AP can stand on its own. It's a bit like Bioshock or FEAR, it doesn't need a sequel.

 

I like how the announcement wasn't business-speak, the sort of thing Activision or other big publishers constantly use.

 

Storywise I can agree, but as far as gameplay goes, I can see Obsidian doing much better with better design, a better management of the project (since AP is already defined they wouldn't need to design all from scratch) and better technical proficiency (whether they would have used UE3 or Onyx, they still would know the technology much better than when they were working on Alpha Protocol).

Not that I'm going to cry on this, but there was some potential.

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Are people making excuses for Obsidian again?

 

It's unfortunate that the game didn't sell well, but I don't think this is really Sega's fault. Nor Red Dead Redemptions fault. Given the similarities to Deus Ex, I think it's more just a demonstration of the changing in the gaming audience. Which is reflected in the reviews.

Edited by Thorton_AP
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Somewhat predictable, but still **** off, Sega. I'd like them to point out a game that actually sold well this spring after RDR came out (other than Super Mario something something for Wii and RDR). They messed up completely with their marketing in the first place and then released the game against several major titles after their brilliant plan to publish it at a better time which only hurt the game.
If the title had been released with ME2, then, it could have been worse. So, I don't think it's the problem.

 

Also, why Obsidian need to stick to Alpha Protocol? They don't seem to have writers who'd like to write real world dialogues especially Brain is no more. Obsidian hadn't had the resources for pulling off Shooter action/RPG hybrid and lost resources to do modern dialogues, too. Things are needed to be start out from scratch. I wonder publishers will be interested in the concept of Chris Avellone, though. :shifty:

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If the title had been released with ME2, then, it could have been worse. So, I don't think it's the problem.

 

No, it should have been released before the sequel to the game everyone was comparing it to. Simultaneously or after, doesn't matter. Both are bad choices when you had the chance to release it before.

Edited by Flouride

Hate the living, love the dead.

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Are people making excuses for Obsidian again?

 

It's unfortunate that the game didn't sell well, but I don't think this is really Sega's fault. Nor Red Dead Redemptions fault. Given the similarities to Deus Ex, I think it's more just a demonstration of the changing in the gaming audience. Which is reflected in the reviews.

 

Those are not excuses. Those are "facts" :)

 

Yes, Obsidian could have done a better job as well, but the release fiasco was all Sega's doing and that ended up hurting the sales.

Not really sure if they were afraid of Dragon Age that much or whether the initial pr company they had handling the marketing dropped the ball completely and thus they had to push back the release date to actually get some marketing for the game.

 

Just like with movie box office in gaming as well the release date will decide a lot in some cases. Releasing a game right after a massive hit such RDR (and against Alan Wake, UFC 2010 etc.) is not wise from a marketing nor a sales point of view. Nor is it very wise to go against Spiderman 3 or say Shrek 4 in movie theaters.

Hate the living, love the dead.

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I agree with most of the posters, that "genius" marketing move to delay the original launch, it did hurt more the sales... if AP would have been release by Oct '09, more people would have buy it, because there was not ME2 reference... AP looks better than ME1, that would be the reference, so when ME2 came out, people would say it is better than AP, but still, the sales would have been better than the ones on this year...

 

Too many bad decisions... pity, indeed... I only hope the dialogue and RPG elements could be used for another RPG games...

Edited by edgarcuk
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It's just not the kind of game a mainstream gamer will appreciate, fundamentally that's all there's to it. Sure if they polished it more it would get somewhat better reviews, and thus a few more sales, but I don't think it would ever become a big hit.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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While this was expected the decision seems suspiciously early(and final).

Does anyone know how much sales data can sega have after a little over one month?

 

Actually, as far as I know, decisions on sequels are made with very early sales.

And let's not kid ourselves, the sales won't change THAT much in a couple of months, if they didn't meet their expectations now it's improbable they will later.

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By the way reading comments like 'Obsidian sucks, this would have been great if Bioware did it' feels like I'm living in a bizzarro world.

Are we talking about the same Bioware who never tried anything risky in the first place and base all their design decisions on fan feedback?

.....
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