The possibility of a sequel to Obsidian's spy RPG Alpha Protocol has been toyed with for awhile, though now unfortunately ruled out. Publisher Sega was direct in a new interview -- president of its Western division Mike Hayes stated, "Let's speak very commercially; the game hasn't sold what we've expected, therefore we won't be doing a sequel."
He went on to say that last layer of polish that was missing (mentioned in our review) was what held the game back.
"The concept was brilliant, though," he added. "You know this whole thing with Metacritic where you have to be in the high 70s to mid-80s minimum [to have any success] - well, with RPGs you have got to be in the late 80s."
"Whilst we had a good game, I don't think we had a game that had enough to get us to that upper echelon and I think that was the issue."
"Again, the amount you need to invest to get there is so large because RPGs are naturally big projects. We've decided we won't do a sequel."
Our opinion? Sega might be a little too focused on Metacritic, and likely gamers too. While it doesn't hurt to strive in that sense, or from the gamer perspective to weed out the lesser games to some extent, scores are just scores, and in this case, actually playing the game might well surprise naysayers.
Of course, there's also that patch we mentioned last week. Sega decided it wanted a longer term project there -- it might well have been wiser to release a quick patch to fix the major issues and up the polish a bit, leading to positive word of mouth and greater sales. Publishers sometimes seem to forget there's a window of opportunity long after the launch date, not to mention Alpha Protocol had little promotion and was going up against monsters like Red Dead Redemption.
We'd go so far as to say the game is the reason sequels are at times necessary. It definitely has the potential to rise above in this case, so it's a real shame we won't see it.