Yoko Taro, creative director of the NieR games, recently shared on Square Enix’s website that he was unsure that NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 would sell very well. He also reminded everyone that ver.1.22474487139 is a “version upgrade” of the original NieR game and that it is not a remake or remaster. He goes on to say some pretty interesting things that might seem very odd for someone to say about their own project.
NieR: Automata Sales Were A Fluke
If you have played both NieR and NieR: Automata, you would see that one of the few things they have in common is the name. While Automata did very well for itself, it was so vastly different from the original that Taro feels ver.1.22474487139 won’t live up to Automata’s success.
NieR: Automata as sold over 5.5 units worldwide and has won many awards since its release. It has also been featured in many collaboration events, most notably Final Fantasy XIV’s NieR raid. With that level of success and recognition, it is no wonder Square Enix wants to take this opportunity to expose new players to the first title.
The issue with that is that most of Automata’s success was from newcomers to the franchise. In 2019, Yoko Taro estimated that total sales of the first NieR game were only at 500,000. While those who played the game seemed to enjoy it, it definitely didn’t blow up in success like Automata did.
A Complicated History
Another mistake that is often made is that NieR is the first in the franchise. While it may be the first game in the NieR series, NieR is actually a spin-off of the Drakengard series, and follows the fifth ending of the first game. With that being said, NieR’s origins don’t start with NieR but instead, with Drakengard on the PlayStation 2.
That can confuse players who want to find out more about the game’s lore and I think that is where Yoko Taro’s worry stems from. It is good that he clarified that Replicant was a version upgrade and not a brand new game, but I do think there will be people out there who base their purchase off of their love for Automata.
That is not necessarily a bad thing, but the games do differ from each other in a lot of ways. Automata set itself a part and almost acted as a stand alone release. Knowing the full history of the game’s world would probably help you appreciate some things more, and certainly explain them better too, but it isn’t necessary. To go back and experience some more history within this game’s universe would be exciting, but it won’t be the same experience Automata was.
Another weird change worth mentioning is the change in development teams. The original NieR game was developed by Cavia, the same developer of Drakengard, and Automata was developed by PlatinumGames. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 was developed by Toylogic, yet another change in developers. A change in development teams can drastically change how a game feels and plays. Luckily though, many of the same creators have stayed on the NieR projects.
Uncertain Outcome for NieR Replicant
It is hard to say how NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 will perform. As of right now it has a Metascore of 84 with a user score of 9.1 so it seems to be doing pretty well. The original NieR has a Metascore of 68 and Automata’s is 88, but only time will tell how many units ver.1.22474487139 will sell.
It is odd to see creators of the project express concern instead of enthusiasm. While it might be a realistic way to look at things, I am inclined to think ver.1.22474487139 will do better than the original NieR because of the exposure Automata gave to the series. At any rate, the game is out now and available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.
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