Low Sales Kill Alpha Protocol Sequel

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Low Sales Kill Alpha Protocol Sequel

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Alpha Protocol will not be getting a sequel, despite being a "brilliant concept."

Obsidian's spy RPG Alpha Protocol was pretty unique, and it seems it's going to stay that way. Sega West boss Mike Hayes said that lackluster reviews and unimpressive sales meant that it Sega would not be investing in a sequel.

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

Alpha Protocol was lauded for its story and dialogue, but many reviewers to issue with the large number of bugs the game had. It's a shame that game will never get to build upon the bags of potential it had, but sadly, potential alone doesn't pay the bills.

Source: CVG

Permalink

...Oh damn it.

Why not just remake the game like they did alone in the dark!?

It WAS a brillant idea.

So they won't do a sequel- when the two primary problems were bugs and the inability to keep your gear/stats when you started over? Meh. It's sad that they won't do a squel when the concept had potential.

What is it with these big budget games? It it really worth it?

More games by little groups, Like M&B: Warband, please.

Too bad, I hear a lot of good things about it.

Before they start thinking about a sequel how about a patch to make the original playable?

It's okay SEGA. Any problems I have with you are forgotten when I look at your logo on the Bayonetta box. And the Resonance of Fate box. And the Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection box. And the Madworld box. And the House of the Dead: Overkill box.

You clearly have a right to decide what you will and won't publish. Business is business. Just don't sue them or anything.

And who owns the license to AP, anyway? Sega or Obsidian? If it's Obsidian, they could go to another publisher, right?

Oh I see, it's metacritics fault.

Well, im glad for that. I enjoyed AP, but, I dont think it needs a sequel.

Im happy with what I got...unless they could seriously opolish it, its not worth the second option

rembrandtqeinstein:
Before they start thinking about a sequel how about a patch to make the original playable?

This is what I'm thinking. The game sold like crap because the review exposed everything that was wrong with it. A few great ideas and implementations don't make up for the terrible AI or the glitchy, buggy mess that is the rest of the game.

Oh Obsidian, when will you make a game that doesn't suffer from horrible 'bugitis'?

"My only regret...is that I have...bugitis...URK!"

Mpfh...

:(

This Taffer is sad now. The game had so much promise. There's nothing wrong with not quite getting there the first time. The concept of the game was challenging to fit into a fluent RPG... and now that they've learned from their mistakes they should have been given a shot at another try.

Gah.

Gah!

G'damn money. Go away. You are breaking promising games.

I remember when IGN and Xplay wouldn't review Bully for the XBox 360 because of all the bugs/glitches it had. Once the patch came out...they reviewed it. Alpha Protocol needs a patch. Same with SOCOM Confrontation.

Jaredin:
Well, im glad for that. I enjoyed AP, but, I dont think it needs a sequel.

Im happy with what I got...unless they could seriously opolish it, its not worth the second option

Just out of curiosity, if you finished the game, did the ending leave open the possibility of a sequel?

Onyx Oblivion:
It's okay SEGA. Any problems I have with you are forgotten when I look at your logo on the Bayonetta box. And the Resonance of Fate box. And the Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection box. And the Madworld box. And the House of the Dead: Overkill box.

You clearly have a right to decide what you will and won't publish. Business is business. Just don't sue them or anything.

And who owns the license to AP, anyway? Sega or Obsidian? If it's Obsidian, they could go to another publisher, right?

Agreed, minus Resonance Of Fate.

Looks like this could have been a promising franchise, had they fixed the flaws in a sequel. Oh well...

RelexCryo:
So they won't do a sequel- when the two primary problems were bugs and the inability to keep your gear/stats when you started over?

Dunno about consoles, but I haven't experienced many, if any bugs on the PC and keeping stats/gear when starting over would be silly and just eliminate the joy of leveling up again (or just get you to end up with every single stat maxed which would be equally stupid).

If you played on Recruit then started Veteran, you got a LOT more points to start with next time, which, for me, really did the trick in increasing the replay value as you didn't start from the rock bottom, but you still had a nice bunch of skills to start with and you ended up with enough stats by the end.

Really a shame that shitty reviewers destroyed the game. It was heaps of fun and just because they couldn't get over a few minor issues, something that could've been a fantastic franchise is now dead. Congratulations to the idiots.

Alpha Protocol, eh, don't really care, but this is an interesting company policy. Apparently the Skies of Arcadia metascore is 93. Are SEGA going to stick to their policy? I'm sure that Obsidian would love to develop a Skies of Arcadia sequel if SEGA can't make one internally.

Maybe it would have sold better if it didn't have lots of shitty bugs and other problems?

What they are basically saying is "we sabotaged ourselves by messing up, but despite the concept being awesome we won't make a sequel because people didn't ignore the bugs and other problems and so didn't buy it", right?

well it's Osidian own fault... if the game was the minimum playable it would have sold. But it's not. The action was bugguy as hell, the mini games was borings.
The differents build possible are not well balanced. The only part that is interesting is the dialogues

colonel_alzheimers:
Just out of curiosity, if you finished the game, did the ending leave open the possibility of a sequel?

In short without spoiling too much, yes, the ending's like with ME2, several options, but they all leave you available for more. Even if it didn't they could simply pull out another hero and work from there. I'd love to see Far Cry 2 premise done with a game like this - slap you into Africa's conflicts and for a change, make a good story.

I'm a little disappointed. If they learned from their mistakes and built on the original, there was enough going on to make an excellent game. It's for the best though since a sequel would have focused on Michael Thorton, a character no amount of role playing could make even vaguely likable. Now they might use the concepts and lesson from AP to make a completely new game about someone other than that douche.

sunburst313:
I'm a little disappointed. If they learned from their mistakes and built on the original, there was plenty there to make an excellent game. It's for the best though since a sequel would have focused on Michael Thorton, a character no amount of role playing could make even vaguely likable. Now they might use the concepts and lesson from AP to make a completely new game about someone other than that douche.

Obsidian seem unnable to do so even if theyr lives depends on it.... Look back at SW:KotOR 2: SL ans NWN 2 where bug crippled too

To be honest, I would only trust a game with a concept like this to a company like Valve, that would take their sweet time to polish everything into perfection. Having a company like Obsidian make a game like this is shooting themselves in the foot.

Vrach:

RelexCryo:
So they won't do a sequel- when the two primary problems were bugs and the inability to keep your gear/stats when you started over?

Dunno about consoles, but I haven't experienced many, if any bugs on the PC and keeping stats/gear when starting over would be silly and just eliminate the joy of leveling up again (or just get you to end up with every single stat maxed which would be equally stupid).

If you played on Recruit then started Veteran, you got a LOT more points to start with next time, which, for me, really did the trick in increasing the replay value as you didn't start from the rock bottom, but you still had a nice bunch of skills to start with and you ended up with enough stats by the end.

Really a shame that shitty reviewers destroyed the game. It was heaps of fun and just because they couldn't get over a few minor issues, something that could've been a fantastic franchise is now dead. Congratulations to the idiots.

I didn't say that not keeping your stats/gear was a problem, I said the inability to do so was a problem. godmoding should always be an option. Preventing players from godmoding regardless of whether or not they want to do so is a flaw, not good game design.

Talvrae:
well it's Osidian own fault... if the game was the minimum playable it would have sold. But it's not. The action was bugguy as hell, the mini games was borings.
The differents build possible are not well balanced. The only part that is interesting is the dialogues

I've played through it two times now, a third time incoming. Seriously, I'm working to think of a single bug and can't (only thing that could be considered a bug is that the game can't handle alt-tabbing at all on my PC, crashing 98% of the time if I try it) so I'm guessing you've either got a console or just got extremely unlucky somehow.

I've heard of players beating it with pure slaughter hack and slash action, I've personally beat it two times now mostly relying on stealth, but trying out some slaughter tactics when the time was right, the only thing I can imagine not being viable is trying to slaughter hack and slash with Martial Arts and no weapons... but that concept seems rather stupid on it's own, it's not a Jet Li game where you can run around dodging bullets and throwing cars just because you put points into martial arts, use some stealth, weapons or mines to support it and you're still gonna do fine.

I agree the game could've been polished out a bit more before being shipped, but on PC, I seriously see no reason to give it anything below 80% on a review.

edit:

RelexCryo:
I didn't say that not keeping your stats/gear was a problem, I said the inability to do so was a problem. godmoding should always be an option. Preventing players from godmoding regardless of whether or not they want to do so is a flaw, not good game design.

Eh, God-moding's cheating as far as I remember and you should be able to find trainers around to do that with (I'd link a site as I just googled one, but not sure if the forums prohibit it - but if you look for a trainer for AP on Google, your first hit will be one). And again, with the amount of skills you start out with as a Veteran, even Hard mode is pretty easy (as long as you're not stupid enough to try and max out 4 weapons when your carrying capacity is 2). On Veteran, by about the middle of the game, I had mostly maxed Stealth, Pistols and SMGs, with minigames giving me plenty of time, having Spy's Luck in case I screwed up and 150 health and loads of armour that left me pretty indestructible for a stealth character.

colonel_alzheimers:

Jaredin:
Well, im glad for that. I enjoyed AP, but, I dont think it needs a sequel.

Im happy with what I got...unless they could seriously opolish it, its not worth the second option

Just out of curiosity, if you finished the game, did the ending leave open the possibility of a sequel?

Well the universe of the game could certainly accommodate a sequel easily enough, but I don't know how they'd continue the story arc the first (and apparently only) game told - that one was pretty conclusively finished. I can't picture them making a direct sequel to Alpha Protocol.

Another original IP dead in the water. Fabulous.

I'll let Tom Chick's assessment of AP in direct comparison to Mass Effect 2 play it out.

RelexCryo:
I didn't say that not keeping your stats/gear was a problem, I said the inability to do so was a problem. godmoding should always be an option. Preventing players from godmoding regardless of whether or not they want to do so is a flaw, not good game design.

Even if we agree that the lack of that option makes the game slightly worse than it could have been, that doesn't make it one of the game's "primary problems".

The existence of boss battles was a far far worse problem than that.

Why did it get low scores? Oh yeah, its because most reviewers bashed the fucking graphics.

This game has easily the best choice system out of anything anything Bioware, Bethesda, or Lionhead ever did, with the possible exception of Mass Effect but Obsidian didn't need 3 games to show what your choices did.

Its sad, it really is. Obsidian needs to stop going to publishers that fuck them and their games over by rushing them.

I am very, very disappointed, and this just re-affirms my hate in the whole damn number system and metacritic.

Maze1125:

RelexCryo:
I didn't say that not keeping your stats/gear was a problem, I said the inability to do so was a problem. godmoding should always be an option. Preventing players from godmoding regardless of whether or not they want to do so is a flaw, not good game design.

Even if we agree that the lack of that option makes the game slightly worse than it could have been, that doesn't make it one of the game's "primary problems".

The existence of boss battles was a far far worse problem than that.

I will definetly agree with that. Of course, it could have worked if the boss fights had been handled differently- for example, you could hijack a turret to shoot them, thus letting non combat players kill them, or simply made them equal to the player, rather than giving them ridiculously large pools of health. But as they were designed, they were a huge detraction.

It's funny because the very reason I didn't buy this game was because its Metacritic scores were so low. Why is it that all of Obsidian's games are riddled with bugs?

Well that's disappointing, I thought Alpha Protocol was a brilliant game. I don't think it really needed a sequel as everything was wrapped up at the end, but the concept was excellent and I would like to see another game done the same way.

Vrach:

Talvrae:
well it's Osidian own fault... if the game was the minimum playable it would have sold. But it's not. The action was bugguy as hell, the mini games was borings.
The differents build possible are not well balanced. The only part that is interesting is the dialogues

I've played through it two times now, a third time incoming. Seriously, I'm working to think of a single bug and can't (only thing that could be considered a bug is that the game can't handle alt-tabbing at all on my PC, crashing 98% of the time if I try it) so I'm guessing you've either got a console or just got extremely unlucky somehow.

I've heard of players beating it with pure slaughter hack and slash action, I've personally beat it two times now mostly relying on stealth, but trying out some slaughter tactics when the time was right, the only thing I can imagine not being viable is trying to slaughter hack and slash with Martial Arts and no weapons... but that concept seems rather stupid on it's own, it's not a Jet Li game where you can run around dodging bullets and throwing cars just because you put points into martial arts, use some stealth, weapons or mines to support it and you're still gonna do fine.

I agree the game could've been polished out a bit more before being shipped, but on PC, I seriously see no reason to give it anything below 80% on a review.

edit:

RelexCryo:
I didn't say that not keeping your stats/gear was a problem, I said the inability to do so was a problem. godmoding should always be an option. Preventing players from godmoding regardless of whether or not they want to do so is a flaw, not good game design.

Eh, God-moding's cheating as far as I remember and you should be able to find trainers around to do that with (I'd link a site as I just googled one, but not sure if the forums prohibit it - but if you look for a trainer for AP on Google, your first hit will be one). And again, with the amount of skills you start out with as a Veteran, even Hard mode is pretty easy (as long as you're not stupid enough to try and max out 4 weapons when your carrying capacity is 2). On Veteran, by about the middle of the game, I had mostly maxed Stealth, Pistols and SMGs, with minigames giving me plenty of time, having Spy's Luck in case I screwed up and 150 health and loads of armour that left me pretty indestructible for a stealth character.

Godmoding isn't cheating when you do it within the rules of the game. For me, the point of a game is not to overcome difficulty, but to remove it. The point of a game for me, is to figure out how to reduce the difficulty of a problem to zero within the rules of the game, not to overcome a very difficult problem directly.

Leveling up to insanely higher power levels is how I prefer to play. Beating an NPC who has a realistic chance of beating me just isn't fun.

The key problem is this: In real life, Mushashi was undefeated. He didn't die 100 times and eventually beat his enemies, nor did he read strategy guides. He was just better than everyone else, and he was better than everyone else because he worked harder. That is what I prefer to be when I play roleplayinig games. Being only moderately powerful- and winning through do-overs and other videogame conventions-just upsets me.

I don't play to win- I play to be Mushashi. Winning is an irrelevant detail to me. Being more powerful than everyone else is the point. Let me use a stereotypical arena tournament (common in many RPG's) as an example: Even if a Lose a tournament in a game, I am okay with it as long as I am the most powerful person in the tournament. By contrast, winning the stereotypical coliseum arena tournament when you are weaker than everyone else- through do-overs and other video-game conventions- is not satisfying. I find it appalling. I feel like I am cheating.

I think 80's era video gamers define what is or is not cheating by how much difficulty they experience, by how many times they die over and over again. I define cheating by real world standards (for example, the use of do-overs in a single elimination tournament.) I define what is cheating by real world standards as in inherent result of roleplay. As an inherent result of the fact I am roleplaying, the idea of winning through getting do overs when no one else in the tournament does seems like cheating to me, and therefore disgusting.

As an inherent result of the fact I roleplay, I desire to win in the same way real life athletes and warriors do- through simply working hard and becoming better than everyone else.

80's era mario/megaman gamers see this as cheating because they think in terms of dying over and over again while trying solve a puzzle. I, as a roleplayer, do not think like that. I think in terms of real world logic and honor, as a direct result of the fact I am a roleplayer. The only victory I truly value is one where I am better than everyone else through my hard work- not one where I win simply by virtue of being the player and therefore getting infinite do-overs.

I prefer to roleplay as Mushashi, not to jump on turtles as Mario.

I loved Alpha Protocol, personally. Though I've had amazing luck in never having run into too many bugs in the game. It is a shame that the main thing keeping them from creating a sequel is their own incompetence and inability to weed out bugs.

Vet2501:
Well that's disappointing, I thought Alpha Protocol was a brilliant game. I don't think it really needed a sequel as everything was wrapped up at the end, but the concept was excellent and I would like to see another game done the same way.

Like Vet said, I don't think a sequel is really all that necesary - the game did a great job of wrapping pretty much all of the loose ends up depending on the ending you got. But that would be the exact problem. A game with this many possible endings and outcomes would be very hard to branch into a sequel anyway and I can't imagine it being done in a way that pleases enough of its already small fanbase to make the game sell well enough.

That having been said, I also agree with Vet in that I would love to see another game like this one - maybe a spiritual sequel or just a game that gives so many options and actually feels like actions have vastly spreading consequences rather than someone than the shallow ones you get in most games.

As a final thought, I just want to comment on how pissed off I am that they only things that really stopped this game from being really good (maybe not the best game, but good enough to warrant a sequel, I would think) were all done out of a lack of effort on the design teams part when it got down to the nitty-gritty. I know to some extent (though I would never profess any real knowledge of videogame design) how difficult games are to make, but to spend so much money and time on a game and not work out the bugs? It just upsets me. I hate that we lose so many possibilities. Maybe it isn't the design teams fault, maybe they had to meet a deadline or someone forced them to release it - I don't know - but I'm upset regardless.

Would have bought it if there was a hint the PC version would be patched to fix the bugs and broken combat.

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