5 Great Games That Failed To Meet Sales Expectations

Every time a new game launches, we evaluate if the games is good or bad. Of course, good games sell well, but it isn’t the case with other games. For lack of advertising or other reasons, a lot of good games didn’t get the spotlight and end up having bad sales. To me, these are the 5 great games that didn’t sold quite well.

Max Payne 3

Max Payne was always a game with an amazing story and incredible gameplay, but this new and final entry of the franchise was considered the best of the three for me. After the events of previous game, Max Payne retired from NYPD and got hired to become a private security contractor to a rich entrepreneur in Brazil, but then he gets caught in a quest of betrayal and death.

The game offered new mechanics to the franchise, such as the covering system. Bullet time makes a comeback in the new installment, makes you see every bullet you fire at an enemy in detail.


The game showed a lot of potential and had positive critics, the game didn’t sell quite well. The game came out in 2012, having to compete with games like Halo 4, Call of Duty Black Ops II and Far Cry, Max Payne 3 didn’t stand a chance. But still the game stands a great way to end a great trilogy.


Alien Isolation

When I heard that Sega and Creative Assembly were working on a survival/horror based on the movie saga Alien I got excited to see what result will it be, and when it come out I got mind blown on how well it plays. Alien Isolation’s story is based between the Alien the 8th passenger and Aliens.

Tells the story of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, who lost her mother on outer-space 15 years ago. She receives a visit from an android who works for Weyland-Yutani and tells her that they found the flight record from the Nostromo, on the Sevastopol station. When she gets there, they found the same horror her mother faced.


The gameplay is based around stealth and survival, you need to gather various materials to build devices that can be useful to run from your enemies, you also receive weapons that you can use against human and android enemies, but it won’t have any effect against the xenomorph, only fire weapons like the flamethrower and Molotov cocktails can be used to stun him and make him run away.

I was shocked that the game didn’t delivered in sales. the game was released in October 2014 and it reached one million units sold in January 2015, according to Sega. I still find this game one of the best survival/horror experience ever.

Sunset Overdrive

A lot of games these days are too serious story and gameplay wise, but this one is the complete opposite. Was developed by Insomniac Games and published by Microsoft Studios, Sunset Overdrive is an open world third-person shooter for the Xbox One.

FizzCo developed a new energy drink called OverCharge Delirium XT, or OCD for short. In an attempt to sell the drink faster, the company skipped the health regulation protocols the released it first on Sunset City, those who drank it started to mutate into a violent boil-bodied mutant known as an Overcharge Drinker, or OD. To cover up the mistake, they claimed a virus has broken out and quarantines the whole city.


When you start the game you need to create and customize your own character. The gameplay is focused on velocity, and encourages players to take out enemies in a fast-paced way. From that, the player employ different set of moves including wall running, air-dashing, zip-lining, performing parkour, acrobatics and water traversal. You travel through Sunset City using grind rails, they’re spread all around the city. The game offers a wide variety of weapons for the player to use, from the common weapons like a revolver and an AK47, to a more “wacky” weapons like the TNTeddy, the Flaming Compensator and the Freeze Bomb. The game features an 8-players co-op online mode called “Shadow Squad”, which tasks players to complete a series of missions, decided by the players.


The game received a lot of positive reviews, but failed in sales, only sold 320k worldwide. Despite that, the game is really fun and I enjoyed it more than most games this generation.

Sleeping Dogs

Developed by United Front Games and Square Enix London, Sleeping Dogs is an open-world third person shooter set in Hong Kong. The game was supposed to be part of the True Crime series but got canceled by Activision Blizzard in 2011, due to a result of project delays and budget issues. Square Enix ended up buying the publishing right to it and renamed the game Sleeping Dogs.

The games tells the story of Wei Shen, an undercover Hong kong-American police officer on assignment to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad Organization. The gameplay is focused around Shen’s fighting, shooting and parkour abilities, also features gadgets that can be used for combat and exploration. Players must complete various missions to unlock content and continue the story, or they can wander the around the city and engage legal and criminal activities.


The game was released in August 2012, but only achieved 1.5 million copy by the end of September 2012, according to Square Enix. The publisher expected to sell about 1.75 million copies in 2013. Sleeping Dogs, alongside Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution, was successful in their game development, but didn’t meet sales expectations, and was considered by the publisher a “failure”, despite the positive critics about the game.


Tomb Raider

Developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider is the new installment of the well known franchise. This time, it operates as a reboot, telling the origin story of Lara Croft, the story of how she became a dual-wielding, archaeologist badass.

It begins with Lara and her friend Sam on a journey to find the lost island of Yamatai, which is located at the Dragon’s Triangle, given its reputation for fearsome storms and shipwrecks that litter its coastline. It’s an action-adventure game, having exploration elements and survival mechanics. The game has some open-world aspects to it, the campsites count as fast-travel points and can also be used to craft weapon parts and upgrades. The developer has carried many moves from previous games, and added some tweaks to it, such as incorporating elements of stealth gameplay. As a survival game, the players need to gather resources and ammo. Throughout the game, you acquire multiple gadget that will help the player progress throughout the story. In addition to the main story, players can complete multiple side quests, explore the island, revisit locations, and search for challenge tombs.


Tomb Raider has also have online multiplayer, but it wasn’t well received by anyone who bought the game. It has a lot of elements that you can find in any Uncharted game. Has three different game modes, Team Deathmatch, Private Rescue and Call of Help, played in five different maps.


Tomb Raider reached 1 million copies sold in less than forty-eight hours after it launched. On 26 March 2013, Square Enix announced that the game sold 3.4 million copies worldwide at retail, but had failed to reach predicted sales targets. Even though the publisher saw it as a “failure”, the game was terrific, with new and fun mechanics introduced to the franchise.

For me, these were the five games that were great, but didn’t sell quite well, leave us your opinion in the comments down below.

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