There's still a market for old-school genres of video games, fans of those genres will say. Point-and-click adventures almost saw a revival, after all, thanks to Telltale. But we all know what happened there. So what of CRPGs, a genre for those who aren't so happy with the open-world approach RPGs have taken in a post-Bethesda world? Pillars Of Eternity 2: Deadfire was meant to be a bastion for those gamers who want CRPGs to get their due. It's a shame, then, that the game is selling terribly.
A report from Game Watcher claims that Pillars Of Eternity 2: Deadfire has "flopped harder than hard." The source for this claim is one of the game's investors, a man by the name of Dylan Holmes. In a series of tweets, Holmes calculated that the game couldn't have sold more than 110,000 copies.
We now have a sense of just how badly #deadfire sold. I invested $1000 in getting it made, and the first dividents from that are in. For all sales from launch through September - the period when any game makes the vast majority of its money - I got $192.67...— Dylan Holmes (@Aerothorn) November 7, 2018
He reached this figure by looking at the "break even" point for investors. To break even, the game would have had to sell 580,000 copies at $50 a piece. The fact that he only got a $192.67 return on a $1000 investment shows that the game is nowhere near breaking even.
What makes this story sad is that the game is apparently very good. Game Watcher reviewed it very favorably. The Steam page shows it having very positive reviews overall. The poor sales are definitely not a result of poor quality.
Even more saddening is that the studio behind Pillars Of Eternity 2: Deadfire is Obsidian. Obsidian has a great track record but has fallen on hard times as of late. There have even been rumors that the studio is set to be acquired by Microsoft. Now, with the losses Obsidian is sure to incur from Deadfire's lack of sales, it's in an even more vulnerable position to be swallowed up by a corporate giant.
Should you wish to save the game, you can buy it on Steam now for PC and Mac. Just try and get a few thousand friends to join you.