As a long-time sort of Cyberpunk guy I’ve always been drawn toward games that share Cyberpunk themes. Titles like Snatcher, Shadowrun, Deus Ex and of course Syndicate have always been favorites of mine and that’s one of the reasons why I was so disappointed by the reboot.
The original Bullfrog-developed games were isometric strategy games that relied heavily on Cyberpunk visuals and tactical gameplay to turn it into a heavy fan favorite, not really the first-person shooter Starbreeze Studios produced. I downloaded the demo and while I was impressed by the graphics, the game felt nothing like the original Syndicate games. It felt like EA borrowed a page from Hollywood by reviving a cult favorite with lots of flash and explosions but none of the elements that made it popular to begin with.
It’s no surprise then that in an interview with CVG, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau admitted that the new Syndicate game had bombed.
“Syndicate was something that we took a risk on. It didn’t pay off – it didn’t work,” he said.
“But in general it doesn’t change my appetite for wanting to go look in the library and see what we have and maybe bring back some IPs for the next-generation. That’s the nature of the business; some stuff works, some stuff doesn’t.”
Starbreeze has blamed poor sales on the demise of the GAME, a massive video game retailer in the UK, other people might point to poor reviews or the fact that they were trying to kickstart a title that hasn’t had a new release since 1996.
Thanks for killing the Syndicate franchise again, EA.