The publisher of the Callisto Protocol, Krafton, is quite dissatisfied with how much the game sells, but he may only have himself to blame for that. As reported by Yonhap (opens in new tab), the game’s sales expectations have been revised down significantly after it fell short of the publisher’s ludicrous expectations since its release last month. Krafton had expected The Callisto Protocol to sell 5 million copies this year, but now estimates that figure at around 2 million, which it says is still “not going to be easy.”
During briefings during the development of the game, Krafton discussed the Callisto protocol as a “Quad A (AAAA), All Day!” experience (opens in new tab), which goes some way to explaining why the company has poured 200 billion won ($161.6 million / £129.8 million) into the game over the course of three years. Despite The Callisto Protocol being the first game in a new series from a new studio, Krafton had high hopes for it, but those hopes have collided with reality since the game’s release.
While The Callisto Protocol has a Dead Space pedigree – the game was spearheaded by Dead Space creator Glen Schofield – it was highly unlikely to sell 5 million copies, even if it had received a warmer critical response than it did. The Dead Space games are loved and well known (enough for EA to give the green light a full remake of the first game (opens in new tab)), but they weren’t sales giants even in their own day (opens in new tab). Expecting something that doesn’t even go by the name of Dead Space to vastly outshine those games seems like the kind of shared delusion only possible in corporate boardrooms.
Yonhap reports that Krafton hopes it will spark more excitement for the game with post-release support and content, including new game modes, story DLC, and cosmetic add-ons. You can check out The DLC roadmap of the Callisto protocol (opens in new tab) (sparing on details as it is) in a tweet from the game’s official account made just before its release last year.
Despite its shortcomings, we’ve actually had a pretty good time here at PC Gamer with The Callisto Protocol. Our reviewer, Shaun Prescott, scored the game 79% in his Assessment of the Callisto protocol (opens in new tab)which criticized its overuse of clichés, but praised it for getting to the bottom of the basics of an “engaging, linear sci-fi survival horror that spins a deepening dystopian thread around dozens of stressful encounters”.
We’ve reached out to Krafton for comment on this story and will update if we hear back.