Alpha Protocol sequel shot down

Sega nixes prospect of a follow-up, executive says game's "brilliant" concept didn't help sales.

Since Obsidian Entertainment was founded in 2003, its only original title has been last month's espionage role-playing game, Alpha Protocol. However, it's unlikely that fans of Alpha Protocol will be getting more, as Sega today confirmed a sequel is not in the cards.

This guard needn't fear any longer; a sequel isn't happening.

Sega West president Mike Hayes told CVG that despite the company's belief that the game's concept was "brilliant," sales did not follow. As such, a sequel has been ruled out.

"Let's speak very commercially; the game hasn't sold what we've expected, therefore we won't be doing a sequel," Hayes said. Hayes did not offer a specific sales figure for Alpha Protocol.

Further, Alpha Protocol gathered mixed reviews across the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC versions of the game, averaging between a 63 and 73 on GameSpot sister site Metacritic. Hayes said the game simply did not stack high enough (within the role-playing game genre) to warrant a sequel.

"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."

Obsidian Entertainment's previous work consisted of taking over development duties on BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights series, as well as Sega's cancelled Aliens RPG project. The development house is currently working on Dungeon Siege 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.

For more on the original game, check out GameSpot's video review (embedded below).

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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94 comments
samantha_sneez
samantha_sneez

I never understood what exactly was so terrible about this game. It was actually pretty fun.

Nymphonomicon
Nymphonomicon

Might have helped sales some if the boss fights (minus the tank) weren't impossibly difficult with no other option than to fight. A shame though, the actual story and flavour of the game were pretty good, but the actual gameplay end was a little lacking.

Samrat_Ashok
Samrat_Ashok

I'm late to the party...all these months, I didn't know that they'd already canceled the sequel plans. I was under the impression it was still undecided. Now that I hear this, I must say, I am really really disappointed and saddened...more than I've been in ages. I really honestly liked this game. If one reviewed it impartially, without comparing it with other RPGs which weren't remotely related, this was an awesome game. The fact that there won't be a sequel is not only a blow to the fans but a blow to the general development of RPGs itself. This game started something new. It mixed a lot of good idea together in one game...It could've developed into something great...

FoxyKyoji
FoxyKyoji

All I see is people comparing this to Mass Effect and crap. Ladies and gentlemen, this is NOT MASS EFFECT. This is also NOT FALLOUT. This is Alpha Protocol. Barring a few bugs, it is also one of the best RPG/Shooters I've ever played. And when you bring up Fallout and Mass Effect? Those aren't RPG/Shooters, they're Shooter/RPGs, which is actually a huge difference.

acsam12304
acsam12304

its a shame. but at least the Sega west President saw bad selling number and deceived not to make apart 2. a lot of game publisher like EA, Activition, and a few from Ubi Soft, and THQ. sales games that gets bad review. but then they just ignore it and start making a part 2 then a 3. at least i give credit to Sega for that. but in the same time they could of taken the mistakes they did in part one and fix it and make part 2 better and get a better rating and sales. i see that a lot in games where part one was bad and then part 2 is good. so really here is a mix reaction. i guess the President didnt was to risk the money for a part 2.

golgo28
golgo28

well the blame belongs with sega for not using quality control,if a dev is taking 4 yrs to make the game make they r doing a good job.but some blame goes to obsidian for being lazy.as a developer take some f***ing pride,and make a game worth the hype.seriously after 4 yrs of work it should have had fewer problems.many games have a great concept but fall flat,because of unattentive publishers and lazy developers.thats why biowares games sell and devs like obsidian eventually close up.in other words put some effort into making good games and stop sitting with your thumbs up your a**es!

Centurion95
Centurion95

Shame really, I had such high hopes for this game but I agree with many of the posters, after playing real top notch RPG shooters like Mass Effect 2 and Fallout 3, this game just could not compete with it. The conversation system and the ability to manipulate others was the strongest thing Alpha Protocol had with it and to its credit it did fairly well IMO. But the other elements suffered. In today's day in age it is the seamless blend RPG elements (dialogue, conversations, character development) and the gameplay mechanics (the "action," shooting, stealth etc.) that truly make games such as this shine and while Alpha Protocol had plenty of the former it was tuck with a limp in its other leg. Although I thought a sequel could have address these issues the all powerful sale's figure cannot be ignored.

GodzillaX8
GodzillaX8

It's too bad because Alpha Protocol is actually a really good game. Sure, it doesn't break any new ground, and it has its issues, but what game doesn't? Giving this game lower than a 60-70 is inexcusable, imo. Sure it didn't live up to the hype, and it wasn't a genre redefining title, but those aren't the criteria you use to rate a game. You rate a game based on its comparative quality to other games. The reviewers that gave it scores below 50 need to find a new career, because giving a game that low of a score implies that the game is nearly unplayable. I played the hell out of this game and enjoyed every second, just because you're sad that it didn't live up to the hype doesn't mean you shred the game in your review and give it a score normally reserved for games like "Trigger Man".

gskywalker09
gskywalker09

Its too bad because I had high hopes for it..........

masterchief80
masterchief80

@ ZzZEVOLUTIONZzZ who cares if the two games aren't alike, that's not the point...they are both developed by Obsidian, who doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to doing follow-ups to excellent games. So, yeah, I do get a little worried when I see the mediocre results of their latest project (Alpha "Protofail"). I don't care if Sega was the publisher, they had 4 YEARS to work on this title, and now I'm supposed to be confident that Fallout: New Vegas is going to live up Fallout 3's pedigree??? Think before you comment.

BloodMist
BloodMist

In an era where you have damned near flawless RPG's like Mass Effect, releasing a game that's extremely similar, but merely decently executed, just doesn't cut it.Maybe if the game had come out years ago like it was originally going to, it may have been more impressive.But not by much. And the really, really corny dialog doesn't help things.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Idea may have been good but the game never lived up to the hype. Back to the drawing board,

thebanewolf
thebanewolf

Mike Hayes, simply put... you're a dumb****. "Didn't sell well despite the 'brilliant' concept. How the **** do you expect a game, no, anything, to sell well, when you ****ed up the rest so badly? The graphics are pretty ugly, especially by today's standard (Crysis, Uncharted etc.), the shooting/weapon mechanics were subpar and made a really bad first impression (rapes the idea of a demo/getting people interested in your game/product). And that's just what immediately came to my mind... God knows what would come forth if we dug below the surface of the game. I also heard that YOU, Sega, is partly to blame for the mess that Alpha Protocol came to be (www escapistmagazine com/news/view/101015-Alleged-Obsidian-Dev-Lashes-Out-at-Alpha-Protocol replace spaces with DOT). "It was an 'absolute failure of production' that 'should have been canceled.'" Yeah, blame the brilliant concept. And that is, supposedly, an official Alpha Protocol dev. Anywho, I wouldn't worry about New Vegas, as the AP dev said it's actually going well (looks well in the trailers too).

codename-60091
codename-60091

wow good thing is not rainbow las vegas 3.. that i would say thumbs up for more :D

Gsai64
Gsai64

dont worry people, obsidian may be developing Fallout New Vegas but Bethesda reassured by saying they are watching over them and showing how to use the fallout 3 engine.

UnderQuarantine
UnderQuarantine

Yahtzee (Zero Punctuation) nailed this game to be honest: Whats the point in offering to specialize in stealth where in some situations you CANT be stealthy? With a game like this you've gotta look at its roots; Deux Ex. In every mission there were path for the run 'n' gunners, the hackers and the stealthers to take without worry that your specialty will be wasted in a certain mission. Excellent conversational system, poor execution of mostly everything else :/ shame

lamprey263
lamprey263

It's not hard to imagine why they won't be making another Alpha Protocol, especially after taking 4+ years from first being announced and getting terrible critical reception and game sales. Anyhow, it worries me some knowing it's Obsidian working on Fallout New Vegas, I didn't even realize Bethesda wasn't developing New Vegas until now, they're just publishing it; keeping my fingers crossed.

Revla
Revla

I'm with alot of people here. Sure the idea was good, but the execution was poor, the bugs pulled me out of the game and the combat wouldn't work on a system from the last generation. I love the Mass Effect games and few other RPG's (infact probably Borderlands and thats it). I'm normally a shooter guy, but this was just bad. When you shoot someone you'd expect.... oh i don't know, some kind of reaction, the guns felt wrong and underpowered (I know its an RPG but so was ME2 and that got it), dialogue just cheesy and I struggled to like the Thorton charactor. I really tried to like it until I realised 'why am I trying to like something I'm clearly not enjoying?' I took it back after one day of owning and traded it for Alan Wake, haven't looked back. Make a game properly obsidian, and if its the publisher's fault, well we saw what happened with Alien Vs. Predator...... also traded back after a very short time.

mwa3
mwa3

and this is news how?

01-cannon-mpc
01-cannon-mpc

I did like this game. But it was WAY to easy and short. I raped the game with martial arts and stealth run. =P

punkpunker
punkpunker

sad, this game's concept has enough potential but AP didnt do justice

rasco2005
rasco2005

@chrispicard Im getting that feeling myself. They just don't have a good track record and yet they are allowed to take over high profile follow ups. I think Alpha Protocol is proof that they are a mediocre team of developers. I know that is taboo to label devs as such but why is it so hard to be honest. It seems like they are given titles that are intended to be cash ins. How else do you explain their pattern of taking a great game or concept and not doing it justice.

chrispicard
chrispicard

Great concept yes, but they couldn't deliver. I have a bad feeling fallout new vegas will be a huge let down in october.

LordRaymond
LordRaymond

The concept was awesome but you need to stand up for your work. Let us hope they did a better job with New Vegas' with its large hype.

Lil69Leo
Lil69Leo

To bad because they really could have improved on the game quite a bit if they took more time.

somberfox
somberfox

@ digitalheadbutt: Lionheart was made by Reflexive Entertainment, not Black Isle... The last game Black Isle made was Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II, and before that it was Icewind Dale II.

Barighm
Barighm

There are way too many great shooter/RPG's out there, like Mass Effect 2 and Borderlands, for me to spend any serious amount of time with mediocre games like Alpha Protocol. Funny they think this game was "brilliant". What a laugh. It was basically Mass Effect with an additional stealth option. AP really wasn't that bad, it just has better competition. Sega should have focused on Resonance of Fate instead. Hard to find but everyone I know who played that game loved it.

bad_fur_day
bad_fur_day

Have Obsidian ever done anything um, good? They do seem to wreak stuff though.

roddymacd
roddymacd

i also think that a bit more variety in so missions like the contact missions you accually had to find the contact and if each city was more open world like a scaled down gta,saints row or something like that it would have added a bit more depth to the game and of course it could have done with just a little bit more customisation

sagameister3
sagameister3

If that game had any form of mulitplayer\co-op and some sort of level editor feature then it would've done better. It was pretty quick to beat for an rpg\fps though.

roddymacd
roddymacd

i enjoyed alpha protocol i thought it was good it was a bit rough around the edges but i think if a sequel was made the game could be made into something great it was the same with mass effect it was great and fun to play but still had its problems just like AP and look at mass effect now its probably the best rpg shooter out. and also sega should get a grip AP was probably one of the best games they have released in a long time

magnificent7
magnificent7

Also, somehow I feel that New Vegas will not live up to the hype it's getting at this rate. But who knows, it might be good.

magnificent7
magnificent7

I actually thought Alpha Protocol was pretty good. It just needed more polish gameplay wise to be awesome. It had some great potential, as the storytelling was very well done. I was under the impression that with Obsidian cancelling its Alien RPG that Alpha Protocol would get some more funds and polish but I was wrong. The whole Metacritic thing is such bullcrap. Same with Sega's attitude about the game. This is the same company that will churn out crappy Sonic games ad nauseum when the reviews on those are completely garbage. My faith in Aliens Colonial Marines being worth a damn have been slowly diminishing for the last couple of years thanks to Sega's habit of releasing product's that still need work. Case in point: Aliens Vs. Predator. Yes, I know Rebellion screwed the pooch on that one, but still...

green_dominator
green_dominator

That's too bad.....Alpha Protocol should have stayed in development for another couple months. With the extra time Obsidian could have worked out enough of the issues to warrant the $60.00 asking price, Even as is the game shows enough promise to make at least one sequel but if that failed then it would deserve it's fate. I would have liked to see this grow into something cool and live up to the genre......R.I.P. ALPHA PROTOCOL.....

salvucci91
salvucci91

good. but then again, this could've been the first DECENT Alpha Protocol.

taxonomic
taxonomic

They were more concerned about New Vegas than Alpha Protocol. That's secretly what happened. One of the guys who was a dev on it posted on shacknews earlier in the year and revealed that. Said after Obsidian got the New Vegas deal signed they took most of their men off of AP and left it unfinished. Apparently they were so giddy about getting Vegas that they didn't care about AP.

Shakezulah
Shakezulah

That's to be expected, but it really is a shame. AP is a pretty great game underneath it's problems. And seeing as the whole point of a sequel is to improve and build upon its predecessor, the ideas of what AP2 could've been are only a dream now.

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

Maybe it was that the game was so buggy that the game simply couldn't even run without crashing multiple times for some people, and not the ratings, which were the reason I didn't buy this. I don't ever care about how bad the gameplay is for an RPG (obviously its better if its good) as long as it runs. Witcher had the same problem but they fixed that game, so its a real shame this hasn't gotten the same treatment.

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

@protoroc While I don't disagree that they are fairly good at telling a story, the opposite could be true of your polishing comments. I find it just as likely that they keep pushing back release dates (evidenced by Alpha Protocol), giving them a lot of time to bug fix and polish and yet still a buggy mess is the end result. That's not to say the decision to rush KotOR wasn't mostly the f-up of LucasArts money-grubbing. But as for NWN2 and Alpha Protocol I tend to believe it has more to do with Obsidian and not their publishers.

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

If Obsidian wants to get repeat business from publishers then it needs to do something that it has repeatedly shown an unwillingness to do: stick up for itself. This is the THIRD time in a row when it has been given the metaphorical keys to a great title from a major publisher, and then the publisher has pushed them around and they've released a buggy, disappointing title that failed to meet expectations. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big enough fan of the genre that I have loved KotOR2, Neverwinter Nights 2 and now Alpha Protocol, but when people point the finger at, say, the Fable series for overpromising and underdelivering, Obsidian should be included in that list. I could understand it at first, their unwillingness to stick up to companies like Lucas Arts or Sega when they were just getting started, but their reputation for delivering actual, finished work is zero with this particular roleplaying game die hard. Alpha Protocol was probably a solid 8.0 to me. But if they had done it right, the concept and framework was there for it to be a masterpiece, just like KoTOR2 and NWN2. Shame on you Obsidian!

mos2000
mos2000

This game was not revolutionary, but it wasn't that bad. It was average. I think Obsidian and Sega shot themselves in the foot by advertising this as an RPG first with heavy action elements. It's the exact opposite. An action game with some deep RPG elements. Because they mis-characterized "their own game" a lot of gamers were expecting a Jason Bourne version of Mass Effect. It's more like a Killswitch with RPG elements - last gen graphics and all lol. I give it a 7.5

BK-Sleeper
BK-Sleeper

Maybe they should... *gasp* make a game that's not ridden with bugs and has some balancing to it so that a sequel wouldn't be ruled out.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

you know what they could do? Just remake THAT game WELL and I'd buy it. whoa, crazy concept. It wasn't the game itself that I didn't want to buy, but the bugs, glitches and other aesthetic atrocities that went with it.

protoroc
protoroc

Once again another rushed Obsidian game. It's sad too cause I find Obsidian usually have better writers then Bioware. KOTOR2 was superior in almost every way to KOTOR until got to the apparent content cut. KOTOR2 lost almost an entire act due to publishers. NWN2, we had to wait for an expansion to have the game run smoothly. Once again thanks to publishers demanding a return, finished or not. If Obsidian had the backing power of say a company like Blizzard or Bioware and had the resource to actually finish and polish the game right it would be a great game

Steyrvolt
Steyrvolt

Alpha Protocol is the Jarhead of video games. A bunch of hate due to mistaken genre. That's not to say it was perfect. There were a few bugs, bad AI and the graphics were old due to development time. Maybe people will appreciate it as a decent stealth/rpg in the future, but for now it's just getting bombarded by too many "the aiming is bad in this shooter" reviews. Perhaps it would've sold better if people weren't ignorant of genres. Also, after the reviews, does this really qualify as news? Ten bucks says there's a news item in a few days stating that a Rogue Warrior flick isn't green lit.

pvspartan36
pvspartan36

It's really a shame, because the concept was very good.

TC_Squared
TC_Squared

It's a shame that it didn't turn out better. Maybe they just bit off more than they could chew. Many game developers have been doing that lately, taking on too many projects at once.

doomsoth
doomsoth

This doesn't surprise me. Aside from having some great developers from back in the day (original Fallout), this company just can't create a game without heavy guidance (KotOR 2, NWN 2, etc.).

thebaronmoo
thebaronmoo

I hope Fallout: New Vegas turns up being very good, because I loved Fallout 3 and I have the collector's edition of New Vegas pre-ordered. Also I think Obsidian is a competent developer, but they just need to focus on one game at a time so they can polish it and make sure it plays well.