Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was one of the unexpected surprises of 2010—a wonderfully colorful, well-told story full of enjoyable Uncharted-esque gameplay and some some remarkably well-done digital performances. Its story wasn't perfect, but those opening chapters (and that finale!) stick with me even today, as do its two mismatched protagonists.
So I was bummed to hear that developer Ninja Theory will not be making a sequel. But when I thought about it, I realized that I wasn't bummed because I actually want another Enslaved game—goodness knows, we have enough sequels flooding the market already—but because of what the decision says about the game's sales. Namely, that they weren't good enough for Ninja Theory to make another game. Not that many people bought Enslaved, and so not that many people played it, and that is a shame.
Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades is quoted as saying "Enslaved should have done better. Right now we should have been doing a sequel and perfecting that sequel and doing what franchises do, which is get better over time."
We'll never know whether Enslaved really would have gotten better over time. But as I mentioned in my review of Gears of War 3, franchise iteration helps game designers iron out the kinks in their design and mechanics, but it can often prove anathema to the storytelling, filmic qualities of games.