There’s little doubt that Arkane Studios’ new stealth game Dishonored 2 is one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. A sequel to 2012’s Dishonored, players have been looking forward to assuming the role of (returning protagonist) Corvo and (newly playable character) Emily Kaldwin after usurpers take the throne.
However, while gameplay footage of Emily’s powers have impressed and excited gamers and the fact that Dishonored 2 is highly replayable has also drawn people in, this may not have been enough to propel the game to sales success.
According to the latest charts from the UK, Dishonored 2‘s sales are down by 38% compared to sales of the first game. The first person title failed to make the top three, debuting in fourth place behind Battlefield 1, FIFA 17 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare which came in third, second, and first place, respectively.
As speculation begins as to why the game’s sales of stumbled, many have pointed to Dishonored 2‘s release date as the culprit. Not only did the Arkane Studios title launch just weeks after Battlefield 1 (which outsold both of its predecessors combined) and one week after Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, but it also launches just days before Ubisoft’s cyber-sandbox, Watch Dogs 2. For comparison, when the first Dishonored launched, the biggest releases that year were Assassin’s Creed 3 and Halo 4 though these didn’t come out until weeks after the Arkane game had hit the shelves.
Another reason for the lower sales can also be attributed to digital sales of the game. UK sales tracker Chart-Track only includes sales of physical copies of games, meaning that any digital purchases of Dishonored 2 won’t be counted. Far more people purchase their games digitally now compared to 2012 and so this may account for a significant portion of that 38% decline.
Some have also pointed to (Dishonored 2 publisher) Bethesda’s controversial new review policy. Although the company has said that by sending out review copies one day before a game’s launch it allows everyone to experience the game at the same time, it has also led to mistrust from gamers who have concerns that this is being done to conceal a game’s flaws. The lack of early reviews may have also meant that those on the fence about buying the game had no critical opinions to turn to until right before the game’s launch and therefore would have been in no rush to head out to the shops and pick up the game in its launch week.
Dishonored 2 is now available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.