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Square Enix reveals NEO: The World Ends With You underperformed



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Oracle Spockanort

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What hostility? From sites like Gematsu and Siliconera, to public joints like ResetEra and Reddit, Kingdom Hearts fans kind of being dicks about it was the cold reality; all NEO posts on the KH sub were promptly killed off for being off-topic, outright disdain on RE, and an utter lack of interest everywhere else, which brings the next issue: Why on earth should TWEWY fans have to "win over" KH fans, who again, have been the hostile ones, not the other way around? Again, it is its own thing, it's not a Kingdom Hearts spin-off, it should stand on its own merits.

If you want to point fingers at fanbases for.....I dunno, being "irresponsible" for not sharing the love, or...whatever, look at at the Persona or DanganRonpa communities. TWEWY is far more in their wheelhouse, and has far more in common, than it would have with Kingdom Hearts. A few stray elements like sharing a producer and cameos does not a cohesive, connective tissue make... If you wanted disparate communities to join hands and forge a circle of trust, those'd be it.

In fact, I honestly never did get why the site staff here decided to put KH and TWEWY in a blender. The two franchises are so far apart in presentation, writing, characterization, style, it's not even funny... It would've been much, much more efficient if you just made a brand new, dedicated TWEWY fansite, and plugged it every chance you could. In fact, that actually happened a long time ago - there was a site called "7 Days Limit" a long, looooooong while ago but it didn't last since the owners got into some kind of spat. You guys could've picked up the pieces! But sharing the space on KHInsider, without any meaningful distinction, pretending like TWEWY was some kind of spin-off... It was foolish, and it made no sense.

If you want to point fingers at fans for not doing Square's job more efficiently...well, let's just say KHI isn't exactly a shining beacon of marketing either. I actually know a thing or two about this! I'm....well, was, in marketing myself. =_=
Why would we pick up a site we didn’t know existed? And we did TWEWY news because we wanted to expand into more than just KH news and have something to do when KH was in its downtime. It was a nice way to distinguish us from the other fansites. We had plans on doing general Disney news and growing out that way as well but it’s not that easy when we work full time and just volunteer for free here. I was allowed the compromise of a Disney section. We also had plans on folding our old FF news site to this site as well but again…free volunteers working for free! It is hard enough working one site when you are in the middle of a work meeting. Handling multiple or having more news topics on one? Not possible. And volunteer work is by the wayside these days and people will go to a site that will pay them so adding staff isn’t easy.

I’m certainly not pointing my fingers at fans, I’m saying fan in-fighting was everywhere and it didn’t help matters alongside a tepid marketing “campaign”.

KHI isn’t some marketing arm. We hope our efforts do something to promote the two series we love, but we are here to be a resource and a home for discussion.

We’ve never treated TWEWY like a spin-off. If I had it my way we would have had a TWEWY section on its own years ago but it wasn’t allowed, so we worked with what we had until I could make a section for it.

Whatever work you did in marketing in whatever place you live in is fine knowledge and kudos to you for getting into it, but irrelevant to this particular chain of discussion about fandom infighting which was and still is out there and not just coming from KH fans. It’s a two-way street. Kirabook laid it out pretty well so I have no desire to rehash what she said.

I feel like you are coming at this with a wholly biased view as somebody who works/worked in marketing so you know how hard they work. You also are clearly a TWEWY fan with little love of KH fans which is fine. I hate KH fans too lol. TWEWY is my favorite above any other games, so I get it. But I’m not sure why you are desperate to genuinely argue against us as if we’ve committed some slight against TWEWY just by…reporting on it? when very few others were until the anime and sequel got announced. We just wanted to have fun and share news about a game we thought was really neat…minus one of our staff. He thought we were big idiots chasing after a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow of remix albums (the gold being the sequel). (I say this in jest btw. He was right to be skeptical and is usually right ❤)

My point is that we are doing this stuff because we love KH and TWEWY and Nomura just happened to put it in KH and it wasn’t big enough for its own separate site we could make so…🤷🏽‍♀️
 
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Ballad of Caius

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Probably not reasonable at all.

Also, they really sent the game to die with their poor marketing. Like, how hard was it to feature it during E3 since it was about to come out???

And Nomura shouldn't have been allowed to directly say "no" to KH references in that one interview because I think that probably kept curious KH fans from crossing over to check it out (and even if they left disappointed, they would have played a fun game)...and the lack of leveraging the FF references in the game to appeal to that audience...or not using game images for easy meme material...

Essentially they needed a better marketing plan behind this game.
I know I'm late to the discussion party, but yeah, NEO had a lot of viral marketing potential. And for a game that was making a franchise comeback for the TWEWY, yeah, they undersold the game. I feel like, at this day and age with how technology facilitates organic marketing for brands; the fact that the Switch is selling like hot pancakes and anything stamped in it gets record breaking numbers; the fact that it's also on the PS4; I feel like Neo undersold terribly. Again: lack of marketing

I don’t like influencer-based marketing because for awhile SE was way too focused on streamers and shunned anything that wasn’t a streamer, but it is necessary in these times.
Especially how one of your characters is an influencer. They could have made a "real life" Motoi and promote the game.
 

Hamster Lord

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I just hope that this is a continual lesson in expectations for SE. It’s clear they have issues with that in general.

Capcom used to have this problem - their initial projections for Resident Evil 6 were at least 7 million sold on launch and 5 million for DmC: Devil May Cry, which they later revised to 5 million for RE6 and 2 million for DmC (which didn't even break a million after launch I believe).

It is a shame that the series will probably be shelved for some time because of this. But oh well maybe in 15 years we'll get TWEWY3 and Deus Ex 5.

PS what the fudge is goin on here
 

Sakuraba Neku

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I doubt this is the end of TWEWY and this is coming from someone that never expected a sequel. But years later not only we got one, but also an anime. What were the odds?! The franchise is more popular now than it was some years ago. Even if it's just a little.

Anything is possible. Most people who played NEO really enjoyed it. It's not like the game is bad or something. Hopefully Square realizes this.
 

Zackarix

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I doubt this is the end of TWEWY and this is coming from someone that never expected a sequel. But years later not only we got one, but also an anime. What were the odds?! The franchise is more popular now than it was some years ago. Even if it's just a little.

Anything is possible. Most people who played NEO really enjoyed it. It's not like the game is bad or something. Hopefully Square realizes this.
I think we need to separate "things that are not impossible" from "things that are actually plausible". Is TWEWY 3 impossible? No, if SE really wanted to they could greenlight it right this instant. But is that something they actually would do? NEO's underperformance makes it unlikely.

Realistically speaking, NEO and the anime were supposed to be the second chance for a potential series where the original game was beloved by the people who played it but had always been niche. The fact that there was a gap of nearly a decade and a half between the original and sequel hints that getting the sequel greenlit was an uphill battle. Why would the people holding the purse strings go for a third chance when the second chance missed the mark?
 

Sakuraba Neku

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NEO nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Soundtrack and PS GOTY in PS Blog GOTY Poll: https://blog.playstation.com/2021/1...q6iCm_6gB6cJSa0IonSHKTS5m1ge-OcyTEBWOwjbKjO_M

Why would the people holding the purse strings go for a third chance when the second chance missed the mark?
The chances are indeed low. It's business and the main priority in business is making money which TWEWY is not making enough, regardless how realistic Square expectations were.

I won't take a third game for granted, but after we had an anime and sequel years later coming from nowhere, I feel like anything can happen.
 
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Zackarix

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I won't take a third game for granted, but after we had an anime and sequel years later coming from nowhere, I feel like anything can happen.
From out of nowhere? More like the the creatives had wanted to make a TWEWY sequel for years (teasing audiences with Hype-chan and the like) and finally managed to convince the executives to take the risk. That risk not paying off will make them even more wary in the future unless NEO manages to turn it around and become a sleeper hit.

You do realize that the anime was part of the marketing for NEO, right? It was supposed to let potential new players catch up with story without having to play an old game. Regardless of whether or not it accomplished that goal they didn't make it out of the kindness of their hearts.
 

Vulpes XIII

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Neo really does deserve more recognition than it got as it such a great game with an awesome soundtrack but unfortunately the lack of advertising has turned this game into a hidden gem. It’s a shame that the only way they can try to advertise the game now is probably putting it in a discounted deals section in the PlayStation store and Nintendo E-shop and hope people think the game looks interesting.
 

Sakuraba Neku

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I was watching the Game Awards the other day and after the new trailers for Forspoken and FF7 Remake Intergrade to PC, the lack of marketing of NEO crossed my mind again. NEO never got any trailers in these big events, right?
 

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I was watching the Game Awards the other day and after the new trailers for Forspoken and FF7 Remake Intergrade to PC, the lack of marketing of NEO crossed my mind again. NEO never got any trailers in these big events, right?
Nope! That has been the main criticism behind the marketing of this game. They skipped out on key events where this game could have gotten exposure. No brainers like a proper showing during a Nintendo Direct or State of Play or SE’s own E3 presentation.
 

Rydgea

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It's early, and I'm not awake enough to catch up on the thread, but was this related to Japan or are we talking global figures? Both? One thing that prevented me from purchasing the game at launch was that they divided up the contents of the physical collector's edition JP had into seperate merch for NA, and that personally would have incentivized me to move forward with the sale. As it is now, I have neither. *shrug*
 

Sakuraba Neku

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Nope! That has been the main criticism behind the marketing of this game. They skipped out on key events where this game could have gotten exposure. No brainers like a proper showing during a Nintendo Direct or State of Play or SE’s own E3 presentation.
No idea what they were thinking, but that's something for them to reflect on if there's a next time. Even indies get trailers in these events...
 

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I remember at the time telling people that the lacklustere showing of SE and Sony at E3 would definitely come back to bite them on the ass, but I didn't expect it so quickly. More to the point, I can't find a retail copy of NEO anywhere, and when I asked at my local game shop in September, they said that the publisher had already asked for copies to be returned which is kinda crazy to me! I never worked in retail for video games but I have for books, magazines, newspapers etc, and products do get recalled on a timely basis but for things that aren't on an ongoing schedhule like books, the recalls are very few and definitely don't happen 2 months after release. Sony saw nintendo doing directs and wanted in on that cheap, powerpoint way to get things trending, but Nintendo has a whole closed ecosystem and 1st party/exclusive games that are already hugely popular; it was never gonna work for Sony, and is just proof of how necessary trade fairs are. Everyone knows when the next direct is because of how obnoxious Nintendo fans are about it, but I couldn't ever tell you about the various State of Plays that drop at the weirdest times. Sony have an established name and presence - they should use it! And the less said about Square's ridiculous marketing of GotG over NEO the better.
 

AdrianXXII

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Man hearing how the game underperformed is really disheartening. Especially, because all I've ever really heard regarding the game, was positive buzz. Guess, we won't be getting the Shinjuku game anytime soon. Unless SE somehow realizes that their lack of marketing was at fault or that their expectations for this AA Game was too close to that of an AAA Game.

I guess, I should just be happy that we got to revisit this world again and that this is one of those 10 year later sequels that stuck the landing.
 
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Alpha Baymax

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I was watching the Game Awards the other day and after the new trailers for Forspoken and FF7 Remake Intergrade to PC, the lack of marketing of NEO crossed my mind again. NEO never got any trailers in these big events, right?
Exactly, I don't know whether Square Enix wanted a large profit margin with a smaller marketing budget or not, but regardless, I find the poor marketing for NEO TWEWY inexcusable in this day and age.
 
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