After releasing to harsh reviews, developer Versus Evil pulls Afro Samurai 2 from digital shelves, refunds anyone who purchased the title, and cancels the series.
With its themes of loss and vengeance, all set in a story concerning an afro-clad samurai battling a three-armed gunman, it was inevitable that Afro Samurai would attract some attention. The Samuel L. Jackson starring anime series made quite a splash when it debuted, attracting viewers with its unique art style, flashy fights, and RZA provided soundtrack. The series spawned a video game adaption for the PS3 and Xbox 360, which garnered mixed reviews but found its niche with hack-and-slash fans and even managed to nab itself a nomination at the Spike VGAs. The series was followed by a sequel movie, but then the franchise went silent.
Which lead to surprise among the gaming community when Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma materialized seemingly out of thin air. Developer Versus Evil, previously responsible for publishing the critically lauded tactical RPG title The Banner Saga, promised that Afro Samurai 2 would feature all the stylish action and quirky characters that fans expected from the franchise. The company planned to release the game in three parts, with the first part releasing on September 22nd for Steam and PlayStation 4.
And then the reviews started to roll in. The game was lambasted for its “lazy, boring gameplay, laughably easy difficulty, and incredibly short length,” with some reviewers reporting that the game could be bested in under 30 minutes. Fans of the series were warned to avoid the title like the plague, but Versus Evil seemed committed to the franchise.
But the developer has suddenly had a massive change of heart concerning the Afro Samurai 2 games. Afro Samurai 2 Episode 1 has been scrubbed from PS4 and Steam, and the developer is offering refunds to anyone that purchased the title. Versus Evil has also stated that development on the remaining two episodes of the series has been halted, and that the game has been officially canceled.
Versus Evil CEO Steve Escalante has admitted that this series decimation ties to the chilly reception the game received, stating in an interview with CGMagazine Online:
“The game was a failure. We could not do, in good conscience, volume 2 and volume 3.”
Escalante admitted that pulling a game and canceling the series is new to the studio and Sony, who made the title available on the PlayStation 4 digital store, explaining:
“So we’ve begun the process. It’s been a long process to figure it out because Sony has never really had do this in this way, but we’re returning all the money.”
With the yanking of the game, all that’s left of Afro Samurai 2 is the litany of bad reviews it managed to rack up. Versus Evil finds itself with egg on its face, but Escalante admits the title wasn’t up to the studios standards, and has apologized for the game, stating in the same interview:
“So across the board we’re putting out an apology saying ‘sorry about this.’”
While plenty of lackluster games have graced Steam and the PlayStation Digital Store, this is likely the first to be totally dismantled. With any luck, Versus Evil should fare a little better with their next release.
Source: CGMag Online