After a rocky launch in September, Afro Samurai 2: The Revenge of Kuma has disappeared from digital storefronts, and publisher Versus Evil is now issuing refunds to disappointed players.
Describing the release as “a failure,” Versus Evil general manager Steve Escalante tells CGMagazine that the withdrawal was voluntary, and notes that the game’s negative reception resulted in the cancelation of two planned follow-up chapters.
In an unusual development, Afro Samurai 2 has since disappeared from player libraries on Steam and the PlayStation 4, rendering the game unplayable. Affected players on both platforms will receive refunds shortly.
“The game was a failure,” Escalante stated. “We could not do, in good conscience, volume 2 and volume 3. So we’ve begun the process, it’s been a long process to figure it out because Sony has never really had to do this in this way, but we’re returning all the money. So across the board we’re putting out an apology saying ‘sorry about this.'”
To date, the only other PlayStation 4 game to disappear from the PlayStation Network without giving players the option to redownload its content at a later date is Konami’s Silent Hills teaser P.T. While Konami’s game is still playable for users who have not yet deleted it, Afro Samurai 2 is no longer available for play by anyone on any platform.
“We pulled it down, because we didn’t want to exacerbate it anymore and then we’re refunding the money,” Escalante explained. “If you look at the reviews, it wasn’t that the game was broken or buggy, people just didn’t like it.”
Based on an anime and manga series, Afro Samurai 2 was the sequel to a 2009 action game from Bandai Namco. Before its removal from digital storefronts, the game earned a Metacritic-averaged score of 21 out of 100, along with a number of unfavorable user reviews.