Four Great Video Games That Were Commercial Failures

The sheer amount of money that is put into creating, developing, marketing and releasing a video game can be absolutely staggering to think about. Occasionally, no matter how well polished or finely tuned a game is, the finished product simply doesn’t hit well with the gaming public. Seeing such great games get passed over is nothing short of a shame; the list below takes a look at four of the best games that were commercial failures.

Beyond Good & Evil:


A unique and compelling video game experience, Beyond Good & Evil, was originally developed by Ubisoft and slated to be the first entry in a trilogy. Players took on the role of Jade, a dedicated young woman who was part journalist, part martial arts expert, part caretaker of orphans, as she attempted to document and uncover an alien conspiracy.

Beyond Good & Evil featured one of the most well realized worlds in recent video game memory, filled with gorgeous locations and strange creatures. Unfortunately, even the unique gameplay and setting of Beyond Good & Evil couldn’t help lift sales, and the game sold very poorly at launch.



Square Enix’s Nier is regarded as one of the most slept-on video game titles of the current generation. A dizzying title that blended elements from numerous genres, wrapped together with memorable characters, a heart-wrenching story and one of the best soundtracks in video game history, Nier had all the making of an unforgettable experience that ultimately fell short.

When compared to the level of polish found in Square Enix’s Final Fantasy titles, Nier leaves a lot to be desired. Despite its flaws, Nier has built itself a cult following that are vehement supporters of SE’s bastard title. Sadly, sales of Nier were dismal, quickly making the game destined for bargain bins.


Shenmue Box Art

Shenmue cost nearly seventy million dollars to create over its half-decade long development cycle. At the time, Shenmue was the most expensive video game of all time, costing SEGA so much that in order to turn a profit, it was estimated that each person who owned a Dreamcast would have to buy at least two copies of the game.

Despite an astronomical amount of money poured into development, Shenmue was met with middling sales upon its release. Those who did purchase the game were treated to one of the deepest and most immersive games ever conceived, but unfortunately, those who did play the game were few and far between.



At the time of its release, Double Fine’s Psychonauts, was met with huge critical praise but disheartening sales. The humorous and engaging psychic-based platformer has character for miles, but was passed over by most gamers initially, selling well below 100,000 copies.

Fortunately, the numerous quirks and innovations of Psychonauts have finally been accepted by gamers, thanks largely in part to the game’s inclusion in various bundles, allowing it to reach the audience that had previously passed the title over.

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Tags : Underrated games
Raymond Porreca

The author Raymond Porreca

Raised on classic role-playing games, Ray’s eternal quest for the next great game has led to him playing everything he can get his hands on. With a passion for every facet of the video game industry, Ray aims to keep readers informed and entertained with every word he writes.