Tyranny Publisher On Sales: "Everyone Was Hoping It Would Do Better"

But the publisher is optimistic that the game can have a long sales tail.

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Now Playing: Quick Look: Tyranny

Tyranny, the PC-exclusive RPG from Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian Entertainment, did not sell as well as publisher Paradox Interactive would have wanted.

Speaking to PCGamesN, Paradox CEO Fred Wester said, "Tyranny did OK." Paradox VP of business development Shams Jorjani added, "We're overall OK with it, I think. Everyone was hoping that it would do better."

Wester went on to say that Tyranny sales could improve further still, as he mentioned that, "A lot of people are still on the fence to buy it." He sees Tyranny as having a "long tail" as it relates to sales.

But as for the initial launch, "It didn't really meet the expectations we set for it initially, no."

A statement from Obsidian praises Tyranny for being an "incredibly deep and unique RPG that players adore," though the company also acknowledges its (initial) shortcomings.

"While a better reception in the market during a packed holiday season would have been great, we think it's the kind of game that has legs and can do great over time," the statement said.

Tyranny came out during a busy time for games--November 2016--while Jorjani also said he believes the market might not be as enthusiastic about '90s-style RPGs as they used to be.

For lots more on why Tyranny might have underperformed at the start, be sure to read the full story at PCGamesN.

GameSpot's Tyranny review scored the game an 8/10.

"While I have some personal misgivings over how much I enjoyed such a twisted, unscrupulous game, this is a unique experience that makes you think about human nature, morality, and what role mercy and compassion should (or even could) play in a centuries-old war," review Brett Todd said. "It reaches beyond the standard heroic fantasy RPG where you slay monsters and save the kingdom, inverting that familiar story and setting and creating something utterly different--and somewhat depressingly realistic."

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Avatar image for urbanman2004

If the game sucks then why dafuq should u expect someone to want to buy it

Avatar image for bonkdacarnivore

It has nothing to do with "the market not being as into 90's style RPG's as it used to be". It has to do with the fact you made a game that wasn't fun to play.

Avatar image for hellwalker

It just popped up out like out of nowhere. Everyone around me was surprised, they never even knew the game was developed and I get the feeling this was true for many more people. So yeah that might had something to do with sales.

Avatar image for iskaroth

Ugh excuses... "Oh, people dont like 90s RPGs anymore" or "marketing could have been better" - sure these are partially the reasons but for me, someone who grew up on BG series, Fallout(1 and 2), NWN, Planescape Torment etc. the Tyranny just simply didnt seem like a good game. I thought Pillars of Eternity wasn't great, it was ok at best(lets say 7/10) and Tyranny had its own set of problems like supposedly very rushed Chapter 3/ending and that is something i cant ignore in an RPG. Nowadays there are too many excellent titles to waste my time on something that is barely decent(like Tyranny).

Avatar image for Relvar

Wow..... they completely missed the point of so many people not buying it. If you want to make money don't release 1/2 complete games and expect people to pay full price. It's been like 6 months and not a single major piece of new content has come out either - it feels like abanonware. If you were sitting on the fence waiting for the game to be finished before you decided to buy or not at this point you've moved on to other titles.

Avatar image for lionheartssj1

@Relvar: Yea, I'd like to try it, but I think I'll wait for a deeply discounted summer sale. That way I'm only out a few bucks and I got to try the demo.

Avatar image for Biorges

Do you want to improve your sales on this game and POE? Get them on consoles, its as simple as that, take a good look at Wasteland 2 and Tides of Numenara, no bitching and a pure pragmatic approach.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

I'm planning to buy it during the Steam Summer sale, myself. It kind of flew under the radar.

Avatar image for Barighm

"Jorjani also said he believes the market might not be as enthusiastic about '90s-style RPGs as they used to be."

I hate these kinds of excuses. It's not the market. Maybe your game just wasn't that good, or maybe it wasn't marketed that well?

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@Barighm: Marketing is absolutely the reason here. Everyone knew about Pillars of Eternity, barely anyone heard of this one.

Avatar image for 129260

The problem with Pc gaming is there is way too many different games. I never even heard of this game or publisher. And I read a lot of gaming news from multiple sources.

Every freaking person's friend or mother is making games now a days. It is too crowded of a market. Unless you release everywhere including consoles, almost no one is going to hear about it. The PC platform is a incredibly crowded market. Even when games release on console it still can be overlooked.

Avatar image for Barighm

@129260: You've never heard of Obsidian? And you read gaming news? ...is this a troll post?

Avatar image for 129260

@Barighm: nope not a troll post. I swear I never heard of this game.

Avatar image for Pyrosa

This is a long-tail game... Not so much up front sales.

Avatar image for Pyrosa

@walidras: It would have been niche then too. I'm part of that niche, but I recognize that.

Avatar image for UltimateBastard

"Everyone was hoping it would do better" well I'm pretty sure they weren't hoping it would do worse. Setting that obvious statement aside, I don't think I have even heard of this, and I loved Pillars of Eternity, can't wait for another. Think your marketing team needs a good kick up the arse.

Avatar image for jfracchia

@UltimateBastard: agree, i think it's a marketing issue

Avatar image for dreadborne

Maybe they'll remember that PC isn't the only gaming platform next time if they are really concerned about sales.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@dreadborne: Pssst, do you know what the c in cRPG stands for?

Avatar image for UltimateBastard

@dreadborne: Mate, I'm not sure if you've ever played one of these styles of game, but the micro-management in combat is almost excessive, even with a keyboard + mouse, and would be borderline impossible with a controller, you'd basically be having to pause the game literally every second, and that's not even an exaggeration.

Avatar image for aj87

@UltimateBastard: Well, there is Divinity: Original Sin and Wasteland 2 on consoles, why cant this one?

Avatar image for UltimateBastard

@aj87: The combat in those games is very different than it is in these infinity engine style games, the main difference being that the two you mentioned are turn based, almost like "xcom", or the old "vandal hearts" games, these are real time, and as I said before, the micro-management is nuts. If you have played either of those games you mentioned, and watched the video above, that should have been pretty obvious.

Avatar image for aj87

@UltimateBastard: Oh sorry, I played the games I mentioned, but didnt watch the whole video, I thought it was like them. I watched now and can see the difference, I played games like this and you are right, there is no way this type of game to be on a console, the constant selection of party, party members and enemies would be an impossible task.

Avatar image for Mogan

@dreadborne: I don't know that there's much of a market for Infinity Engine style CRPGs on the consoles. Also, they don't have to pay anybody to make a PC game, which is important for a crowd funded game.

Avatar image for Mogan

@computernoises: Pillars did pretty well. Original Sin even better. Beamdog seems to be doing fine with their Infinity Engine remasters.

Avatar image for RossRichard

Waiting on a good sale myself.

Avatar image for jski

I think there are a few factors at play here. First, it was just too similar to Pillars of Eternity and I only liked that game, I didn't love it. It did come out at a poor time, a summer release with less competition would likely have done better. Second, companies seem to think that wanting isometric rpgs to come back means the tech limitations as well as the style. I want an isometric rpg that looks like it is made in 2017, not 1997. Use 3D, full voice, advanced lighting effects, When I travel into someones mind in Pillars, let me see it and participate in it instead of walls of text. Lets have destructible environments devastated by powerful magic, let's have the kind of next gen item and world interaction that stopped advancing after Ultima 7. Isometric doesn't have to mean linear, it can be open world with massive optional side quests and factions. Tyranny and Pillars just felt more like Baldur's Gate 2 mods more than modern epic rpgs for 2017. I think the waves of nostalgia that started hitting us a few years ago have either been satisfied or have receded with some people realizing that some magic can't be recaptured. Isometric rpg's still have a place in gaming and I believe can still be very financially successful, but you also have to keep the experience current to the times and tech available now.

Avatar image for NTenseify

@jski: I agree with you, the only reason they used walls of text 20 years ago is because of the technology limitations, I can't go back to that now. Even though I was enjoying the gameplay in Pillars, the insane amount of reading just bored me to death

Avatar image for Iemander

@jski: your opinion, not mine. Text is super important in these RPGs. Trying to replace that is just going to piss off loads of people.

Avatar image for UltimateBastard

@Iemander: Give people the option, some people these days just don't like to have to spend half the time reading in a 100hr game. I don't mind the reading in them, in fact I often enjoy it, but I know there where times playing the likes of "Pillars" where I knew I just couldn't be arsed reading today, and so didn't play the game or I just skipped through things, which is bad for a very story driven game.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@UltimateBastard: Millennials, maybe

Avatar image for Gomtor

I enjoyed this game very much. The only issue maybe being the huge amount of reading, instead of voice acting. But besides that, it was a solid 8.

Avatar image for velcroboy

The market has definitely become flooded with 90s-style RPGs. The enthusiasm is still there it's just spread fairly thin.

Avatar image for Patrickmahan

Its got a great premise, playing as the bad guys and all. But IMO its just too convoluted and complicated with stats here and stats there. I would've played it more if it were simpler/dumbed down.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

This is why Obsidian wont be making another Fallout or a big AAA title anytime soon unless they get a tonne of funding from a big publisher. Obsidian doesn't have the funding.

Avatar image for BeefoTheBold


It IS a game that I plan on buying at some point during this summer. Hopefully I can be a part of the long sales tail.

Avatar image for Mogan

I hit a slow point in the story and burnt out, but I thought Tyranny's opening/prologue was hot. Right from the jump, I was way more invested in Tyranny's world and story than I was Pillars of Eternity's. Unfortunately, the story stumbled after chapter one and felt like it was missing one or two main quest beats worth of establishment, so the hook kinda fell out.

I got swept away by the tide of new releases since Tyranny, but someday I'll get back around to it and see if the story can pick up again.

Avatar image for velcroboy

@Mogan: I played the whole game. It does hit a slow spot about 3/4 through. But it picks up again for the ending. It's not a great game. But it is overall good. I'm glad I played it at least.

Avatar image for Mogan

@velcroboy: Yeah, I'd like to get back to it. Maybe it was the path I took through chapter one, but I felt like the whole Oldwall/Spire situation was something the game did nothing to setup or establish, so when I got my first spire and the story shifted to make those things real important, I didn't even know what they were and it started to lose me.

Avatar image for AsmodeusAzarak

That's a shame, it's an interesting take on the genre and well worth a play through.

Avatar image for spaced92

I like it more than POE, but that game was billed as a direct spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. Tyranny didn't have the hype of a massive kickstarter campaign behind it, and it's known that it ends abruptly. And as fresh as it is not to be automatically on the side of the good guys for once, most people like being heroes.

Avatar image for mitchell2211

Excellent game with an abrupt ending, which is my only gripe. Idk why fans of POE didn't pick this up, it's got a great story like POE and is relatively replayable.

Avatar image for deactivated-5c66a5fc40886

@mitchell2211: I liked Tyranny even more then POE. The artstyle and the story just appealed to me in a way I did not expect. Now that I think about it, the cliffhanger ending is made even worse if there will be no tyranny 2 to finish the story. Bu still, I love it to bits.