Afro Samurai 2 Cut Short And Pulled From Sale

Afro Samurai 2: The Revenge Of Kuma [official site] has all but fallen on its sword, it seems, with future episodes cancelled and the game pulled from sale. Having just released the first of three planned volumes at the end of September, this might come as a surprise, but that’s what publishers Versus Evil seem to have quietly announced in a recent interview. The reason is simple: it’s a failure.

At the Montreal International Gaming Summit earlier this week, Versus Evil general manager Steve Escalante told CGMagazine, focused on the PlayStation release:

“The game was a failure. We could not do, in good conscience, volume two and volume three. So we’ve begun the process – it’s been a long process to figure it out because Sony has never really had to do this in this way – but we’re returning all the money. So across the board we’re putting out an apology saying ‘sorry about this.'”

If you pop onto the game’s Steam page now, you’d discover it’s now impossible to buy Afro Samurai 2, but that interview seems to be the only place they’ve mentioned all this. You won’t find any official updates or announcements on Steam, Twitter, the game’s website, or the Versus Evil site’s news section. Versus Evil community chap Lance James did tweet on Friday that folks should follow Afro Samurai’s twitter for “more info” that’d be “coming soon”, but there’s still nothing there. Perhaps no one was prepared for Escalante to spill the beans just yet.

Presumably Steam refunds are in the works too, though Steam is a lot more flexible with refunds nowadays so you can always request one yourself. I’ve emailed Versus Evil for confirmation and will update if and when I hear back.

20 Comments

  1. AlexHeartnet says:

    Umm… how do they plan on paying the bills?

    • Philomelle says:

      The publisher will presumably release other games that are actually good and will sell.

      The developers will presumably go out of business, which is sad but not actually shocking when you consider that Afro Samurai 2 made Galactic Hitman look good.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    I always wondered where kadayi’s avatar was from.

  3. rustybroomhandle says:

    As a dev I have to say: Episodic is hell for a small studio. Especially if it does not pay the bills. Choices then become
    – Give up, issue refunds, become homeless
    – Push on as a labour of love
    – Crowdfund

    • LaKriz says:

      Episodic is OK and quite lucrative, as long as the base game is not as bad as in this very example here. There are enough games out there where this aproach worked very well for the developing studio, so I can’t see why you think episodic iteration is generally a bad choice.

      • shadow9d9 says:

        Outside of Telltale, who has this worked out for? It is a terrible model.

        • 7vincent7black7 says:

          That episodic thing with The Longest Journey seems to be going mostly well. Its a little rough around hte edges compared to the past two games, which is kinda saying something since they were also a little rough around the edges, however I and many others have enjoyed that game to varying degrees.

  4. vorador says:

    It is a good question to ask how much of a disaster it was for the studio to basically try to erase it off the Earth.

    If i read it well, they’re planning on refunding everyone. Is not “refund if asked” as PC Arkham Knight did, is fully refunding everyone that bought it and yanking it off people hands.

    I think it is the first time something like this has been done.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Most devs would have taken the money and run so best of luck next time for those guys.

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        Yeah looks like the game was a disaster but they’re miles out in front of the rest of the industry in dealing with it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Honestly, from seeing a bit of it from Birgirpall playing, it’s not the most broken or awful game in the world by a long shot. Bad enough that you’d probably want a refund now that’s becoming more of a thing, yes, but not some appalling low-point of unspeakable awfulness. (That 1% biker thing was probably worse, for example.)

  5. neoncat says:

    Heh, no love lost here… Afro Samurai has always been terrible in every incarnation, regardless of the medium. I still want a refund on the fifteen minutes I spent fast-forwarding through the anime ep 1 and 2 to see if it got better.

    • LaKriz says:

      Taken from their website:
      “Original Story by “American Sniper” writer James Defelice”

      Doesn’t that say all?

  6. bill says:

    Forced mass refunds seems a bit odd, and unprecedented. Unless it’s fundamentally broken to such a state that it won’t even load.

    I mean, there are a lot of bad games out there, but I wouldn’t expect the manufacturer to suddenly give me a refund without me at least asking.

  7. miscu says:

    I get that they want to save face for future games they make, but…bad games happen, a lot of devs had to be part of projects they weren’t proud of before they got to making games they were actually proud of

    just take the money and do better next time