Square Enix continues to put extremely high sales expectations on its franchises, including the Deus Ex series, hurting the chance for sequels.
Last year’s Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was an excellent stealth-action game, telling a small-scale story with all the role-playing elements fans expect from the series, but it appears the game didn’t perform well enough for a sequel to get the green light. Publisher Square Enix has reportedly put the series on hiatus, with developer Eidos Montreal moving on to other projects.
Eurogamer reported Monday that sales for Mankind Divided were considered “underwhelming” by Square Enix. In the U.K., its early numbers were significantly worse than the previous game in the series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Mankind Divided was released in August 2016 — generally a quiet time for new releases — on the same day as Madden 17 and King of Fighters XIV.
Square Enix’s sales expectations for its AAA franchises are notoriously high. In its first month, the Tomb Raider reboot managed to sell more than 3.5 million copies, and it was still considered a sales disappointment by the publisher, which had hoped to sell as many as 6 million units.
Last week, we reported on a new partnership between Square Enix and Marvel, which will bring an Avengers game to fans in 2018, and this also appears to be a factor in the decision to shelve Deus Ex. Eidos Montreal has a large role in the game’s development, which is just the first in a line of Marvel-themed games that the company plans to produce.
“While we are still working on expanding the Deus Ex Universe, along with creating new content and updates for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, we’re also devoting our talents toward working with Crystal Dynamics and Marvel on The Avengers project,” said Eidos Montreal in a statement to Eurogamer.
The same Eurogamer report said that Eidos Montreal is also working on another unannounced Marvel project based on Guardians of the Galaxy that is currently in “the early stages of production.”