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Default Torment:ToN - Sales Disappointing but Why?

November 2nd, 2017, 20:22
PCGamesN asks Brian Fargo why the sales for Torment: Tides of Numenera were disappointing.

It is February, 2017, and respected fantasy author Pat Rothfuss is livestreaming Torment: Tides of Numenera. Viewers are watching him play through the earliest scenes of the isometric RPG, for which he has written an inspired companion character. But you would be hard pressed to know he was playing at all.



Sometimes Rothfuss clicks to move his character through the world - until a paragraph of descriptive prose pops up. When that happens he falls silent to read. Occasionally, he chuckles. During these long moments, of which there are many, the screen is almost totally static.

“It couldn’t have been more dull,” inXile head Brian Fargo laments. “I love Patrick, I love the game, but that’s not fun to watch.”

The fact that Tides of Numenera is not exactly a spectator sport might go some way to explaining why this 9/10 RPG will not bother Steam’s top-seller list for this year.

[…]
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November 2nd, 2017, 20:22
How about this reason:
The game just isn't THAT good. Sure, it got high ratings, but that was mostly the hipster & nostalgia bonus.

I'm playing it right now. It's not a bad game, really. Get it on a sale.
But it's miles away from being very good or close to the quality of PS:T.

The writing is too wordy and partly super pretentious.
The combat is… very rare, and when it happens it just isn't challenging or interesting.
The setting is weird for the sake of being weird - I can imagine it working better in a PnP setting, indeed. Where Planescape adheres to a higher logic and has an actual purpose, Numenera just feels like a chain of circus attractions.
The characters really aren't all that interesting. Not one comes close to good old Morte. Many are even outright annoying.

And the game lags sometimes - on a machine having no problems with newest games on highest settings.

It's just all in all not very good.

And yeah, it is not fun to watch. Nowadays, that can also have an influence. But some other successful games aren't fun to watch, either, so that can never be the only reason.
Last edited by TheSHEEEP; November 2nd, 2017 at 20:33.
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November 2nd, 2017, 20:26
Like I said recently in some thread around here: I enjoyed it, and I think it's a good game, but PST is simply better. And no, not just in the nostalgia talking, as the recently released PST: EE (which I also played this year) is just flat out a better game.
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November 2nd, 2017, 21:38
I haven't played it yet, but this reception is such a disappointment. I was really hyped last year.
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November 2nd, 2017, 21:40
too abstract for my taste
and i think a lot of people think the same
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November 2nd, 2017, 21:50
It's too different to appeal to a large audience. It's a niche product that some people will love and others will hate. We see stuff like this all the time, whether it's that Darkest Dungeon game or a David Lynch film.

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November 2nd, 2017, 22:10
It's a good game.
Do I preach about it to everyone like I did with PST? No. It's not a musthave/mustplay before you die.
I fear that for the same reason others who played it didn't went word of mouth to everyone they know, sadly.
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November 2nd, 2017, 22:16
Great game I think, but I can see how this genre simply wouldn't appeal to everyone, or even a mass audience. Honestly, I would have been quite surprised if the opinion had been otherwise.
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November 2nd, 2017, 22:21
im an abstract fan, writing fan. the priorities for this one were on point for me.. but the quality doesnt make it .
from the graphics to writing to philosophy to level design.. everything is mediocre (
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November 2nd, 2017, 22:25
Originally Posted by TheSHEEEP View Post
How about this reason:
The game just isn't THAT good. Sure, it got high ratings, but that was mostly the hipster & nostalgia bonus.

I'm playing it right now. It's not a bad game, really. Get it on a sale.
But it's miles away from being very good or close to the quality of PS:T.

The writing is too wordy and partly super pretentious.
The combat is… very rare, and when it happens it just isn't challenging or interesting.
The setting is weird for the sake of being weird - I can imagine it working better in a PnP setting, indeed. Where Planescape adheres to a higher logic and has an actual purpose, Numenera just feels like a chain of circus attractions.
The characters really aren't all that interesting. Not one comes close to good old Morte. Many are even outright annoying.

And the game lags sometimes - on a machine having no problems with newest games on highest settings.

It's just all in all not very good.

And yeah, it is not fun to watch. Nowadays, that can also have an influence. But some other successful games aren't fun to watch, either, so that can never be the only reason.
I agree.

PS:T is one of my very favorite games of all time but while T:ToN is similar in some ways it is not a game I enjoyed for more than a couple of hours. I kept at it for a total of around a half dozen hours but it just was not interesting to me. The storyline, setting, and gameplay were all sub-par to me.

It's very difficult to capture the "magic" of creativity (such as PS:T or anything) unless much of the magic is in the procedures of a game in which case the procedures can be re-created in another game with hopefully creativity in the storyline. PS:T was not magic in my view in the procedures, a big part of the magic was in the writing and overall design.
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November 2nd, 2017, 22:32
numanuma stank - there's your reason why
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November 3rd, 2017, 00:30
It didn't really grab me the first time I tried it. I'll probably give it another go later on. But yeah, too much combat or too much prose can drain a game of interest. It needs to have a good balance and the right pacing.
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November 3rd, 2017, 00:33
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
It didn't really grab me the first time I tried it. I'll probably give it another go later on. But yeah, too much combat or too much prose can drain a game of interest. It needs to have a good balance and the right pacing.
I think I'll like the game, probably a lot based on what I've seen. But I am a weird one who actually enjoyed combat in PS:T, too. I thought the combat had even more potential to be great but needed a few more difficulty/hardcore options and the like.

This Tides game seems like a very interesting one to just get lost in from a story standpoint. If I didn't have a million games to play already I'd jump in.

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November 3rd, 2017, 02:12
`EA is examining why Andromeda sales bombed`… `ToN getting low sales`… ` Why did Tyranny sell so poorly?`…

A clear pattern here. These studious don't know what the fuck they're doing. To be frank I enjoy watching them squirm in their ignorance.
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November 3rd, 2017, 04:05
If you're livestreaming or let's playing an RPG, you HAVE to read the dialog out loud.
Amateurs.
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November 3rd, 2017, 04:35
A niche game made in the spirit of another niche game, this was never going to sell well. No mystery here.
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November 3rd, 2017, 07:34
I'll never get the extreme praise for PS:T. It was a good game, but it's not the Holy Grail of crpgs like some try to make it out to be. The story was great for a game, but the actual gameplay left a lot to be desired.

Haven't played ToN yet so I can't compare. I lost interest after hearing there's virtually no combat in the game. If I wanted nothing but dialogue, I'd play a classic adventure game.
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November 3rd, 2017, 11:44
I thought it was an E-Book…
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November 3rd, 2017, 12:35
Keep repeating m'self, but objectively speaking, classic cRPGs are bad business.
Some modest runaway successes here and there, but financially speaking, the genre died out a while back (just like classic adventure games, hardcore flight sims, etc, etc)

Mass market has changed significantly, so the only haven for classic cRPGs is the indie scene, which is extremely volatile by nature (see: unreachable expectations, general distrust, etc, etc)

As of ToN, my highly unpopular personal rant is this:
I think PS:T's acclaim among certain fans is more likely fueled by snobbsim than actual merit.
Since PS:T was never a huge success, creating a spiritual sequel is downright suicide, business-wise -- because the game has obviously not enough fans to warrant a development.

In my opinion, an e-book, a well-crafted illustrated CYOA paperback, or a low-budget animated series could have been a better choice for ToN, as the story and setting is exceptional though.
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November 3rd, 2017, 12:52
I didn't really fall in love with PST either. I think you had to "be there", with an old Win98 PC, 17" CRT, and Sound Blaster card to really enjoy it. I played it for the first time much more recently, and the effect on me was just not the same.
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