Dishonored was a blockbuster success. The first game sold 460,000 physical copies during its first week in October according to Eurogamer. It went on to move millions of copies on PC alone, according to Steamspy. Dishonored 2 and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider didn’t have that luxury due to fans not buying into either.
Dishonored 2 launched 40% down compared to the first game, as noted by Gamerant, and it only managed 2.5 million cumulative sales across home consoles and PC, which is actually less across all consoles than what the first Dishonored sold on PC alone, which is around 3 million.
The low sales of Dishonored 2 and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider has resulted in Arkane Studios and Bethesda shelving the IP for now, much like how Mass Effect: Andromeda’s poor sales resulted in the IP being put on ice. WCCF Tech is reporting that lead designer Richard Bare from Arkane Studios told VG 24/7…
“I can’t say definitively what might happen down the road […] but [Dishonored] is resting for now. As far as pure immersive sims [like Dishonored] go, I don’t know if we’re going to continue to make like carbon copies – this qualifies as an immersive sim and it’s the only thing we’re ever going to make. The things that are important to us as a studio are coherent, deep world building and environmental storytelling – we’re always going to craft spaces that you feel like you’re visiting, whether it’s Dunwall or Talos 1.”
The media propped up both Prey and Dishonored 2 for pushing “representation” and “diversity” to the forefront of the franchises, with both games offering male or female options.
There are countless cringe-worthy headlines playing up “diversity” and “representation”, but none of that helped with the sales of Dishonored 2. More than anything, it seems to have scared more gamers away than brought them in.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider fared even worse, barely moving more than 100,000 copies on PC. Even with the media drumming up a black, disabled, lesbian main character taking the reigns of the Dishonored franchise, it did absolutely nothing for the game’s sales (and likely hurt interest more than helped it, given the early pre-release discussions in some gaming circles). It also didn’t help that Arkane Studios hired in an out-and-out Social Justice Warrior to write Death of the Outsider.
All of the claims about diversity and representation in gaming being a boon for tapping into “marginalized” markets turned out to be nothing but market failure. And now, Dishonored is going away for a long, long time.
Prey is almost in the same boat after being revived a decade after the original released on Xbox 360 and PC back in the day. The new game tried being “progressive” by having players take on the role of a male or female Asian protagonist named Morgan Yu. Female Morgan was typically a lesbian, and about two-thirds of the way through the game they made sure that one of the prime subplots centered around another interracial lesbian relationship.
All of this “diverse” representation didn’t do anything for the game’s sales. As it turns out, most gamers don’t really care about virtue signaling for propaganda purposes.
The media essentially helped bury any chances Arkane had of breaking through by turning off gamers who have become fed up with the SJW agenda.
I suppose the news of Prey and Dishonored 2’s being sales failures and the Dishonored franchise being put on ice proves one thing and one thing only…
(Thanks for the news tip Divine Providence)