Forspoken, the much-marketed first game from Hajime Tabata’s Luminous Productions, hasn’t lived up to expectations. After years worth of marketing, the game was critically thrashed and now appears to be bombing, if Twitter user @bogarad222 is correct. A recent shareholder meeting apparently had Square Enix admit sales of the game have been “lackluster” so far.
Forspoken came out on January 24 into a hostile environment, who criticized the writing and dialogue that had been shown off in the game’s trailers. This was only compounded when critics bashed the game for a lack of real story and an empty open world. The gameplay, however, did at least earn some praise.
Things got worse for Forspoken, however, when just a day later, Tango Gameworks’ Hi-Fi Rush launched without any marketing at all and proceeded to annihilate the game in the sales department, winning a huge amount of praise for its rhythmic action gameplay, colorful visual style, and fun characters…all the exact opposite of Forspoken.
The game’s performance has been so bad, in fact, that Luminous Productions, despite only launching one game, has apparently been closed and bundled into the rest of Square Enix. Considering that the game took $100 million to make, that’s a very expensive bomb that Square Enix has on its hands, to say nothing of all of the money that went into marketing and promotional material.
While there are no exact sales figures for Forspoken at the moment, if Square Enix believes that they’re “lackluster” so far, it’s likely not looking good for the game. Considering it’s apparently selling poorly enough that Luminous Productions has been closed, “lackluster” might even be too optimistic of a word. They can’t even make up the difference with microtransactions.
Currently Forspoken is available on Playstation 5 and PC, so if you want to take a look at it yourself, you can, but who knows how Square Enix will react to such a dismal failure.