Bethesda and Arkane Studios put Dishonored franchise on hiatus

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,516   +571
Staff member

It seems that Arkane Studios has decided to put the Dishonored franchise to bed. Lead designer Richard Bare told VG24/7 in a recent interview that the series was being put on an indefinite hiatus.

"I can’t say definitively what might happen down the road, anything could happen, but [Dishonored] is resting for now," said Bare.

This news is undoubtedly disappointing for fans of the franchise, but at least Dishonored: Death of the Outsider had a natural ending that didn’t leave players hanging. So they at least chose a good time to give it a pause.

Arkane and Bethesda might be shelving the series due to lackluster performance. The first game sold quite well. According to Eurogamer, Dishonored sold about 460,000 units in its first week and chugged on to sell millions on PC and consoles.

Conversely, Dishonored 2 sales were 40-percent lower at launch. Overall, the sequel only managed to move 2.5 million copies on consoles and PC combined. When compared to the more than 3 million copies of Dishonored sold on PC alone, one can gather that Bethesda might be wanting to pull the plug. However, Bare seems to indicate that there is still the possibility of pulling the title out of the closet sometime in the future.

He claims that right now Arkane is mainly focused on developing "seamless multiplayer" and "environmental storytelling" for future unnamed projects that are not The Crossing.

"[We are] not literally [working on] The Crossing, but for sure some elements. Being able to incorporate more online sharing or multiplayer type stuff, we totally might do that. The things that are important to us as a studio are coherent, deep world building and environmental storytelling – we’re always going to craft spaces that you feel like you’re visiting, whether it’s Dunwall or Talos 1. It’s just as important a character as the player or the people you meet. Then it’s improvisational gameplay – giving players a bunch of cool abilities and tools, then saying, ‘You figure it out, you be creative, you own the experience.’ And, typically, we stick to first-person, though that’s not a hard rule and we might try other things from time to time."

So while we won’t be seeing Dishonored 3 anytime soon (if ever), the studio is still in early production on some stuff that might bring us something new to excite us. And in an industry full of sequels and cookie-cutter follow-ups, something fresh from a developer once in a while is nice to see.

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BSim500

Posts: 693   +1,447
"Devs want to work on new properties incorporating 'seamless multiplayer' and 'environmental storytelling'"
No thanks. Dishonored 2 didn't flop due to lack of immersion shattering multi-player shoe-horned into a single-player game (like that hasn't been tried before), it flopped for the same reason DX:MD did - it was a chronically unoptimized & buggy turd that lost a lot of the feel and fluidity of gameplay that made the earlier 2011-2012 games superb.

Dishonored 1 (2012) vs Dishonored 2 (2016). I'm pretty sure games aren't supposed to simultaneously look 4x uglier AND run 6-10x slower after 4 years...
 

seefizzle

Posts: 422   +292
"Devs want to work on new properties incorporating 'seamless multiplayer' and 'environmental storytelling'"
No thanks. Dishonored 2 didn't flop due to lack of immersion shattering multi-player shoe-horned into a single-player game (like that hasn't been tried before), it flopped for the same reason DX:MD did - it was a chronically unoptimized & buggy turd that lost a lot of the feel and fluidity of gameplay that made the earlier 2011-2012 games superb.

Dishonored 1 (2012) vs Dishonored 2 (2016). I'm pretty sure games aren't supposed to simultaneously look 4x uglier AND run 6-10x slower after 4 years...
I don't recall 2 being buggier and less fluid. I played and loved both games. Your comment is like reading a french newspaper, it just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
 
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McMurdeR

Posts: 191   +160
This is a good thing if developers move onto something original.

I'll remember Dishonored quite fondly.
 

Mighty Duck

Posts: 154   +83
"Devs want to work on new properties incorporating 'seamless multiplayer' and 'environmental storytelling'"
No thanks. Dishonored 2 didn't flop due to lack of immersion shattering multi-player shoe-horned into a single-player game (like that hasn't been tried before), it flopped for the same reason DX:MD did - it was a chronically unoptimized & buggy turd that lost a lot of the feel and fluidity of gameplay that made the earlier 2011-2012 games superb.

Dishonored 1 (2012) vs Dishonored 2 (2016). I'm pretty sure games aren't supposed to simultaneously look 4x uglier AND run 6-10x slower after 4 years...
The game was way too buggy, performance-wise. It was a nightmare to run. But it didn't look uglier. Dishonored 2 is a beautiful looking game.
 
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Mighty Duck

Posts: 154   +83
Good thing Arkhane isn't affiliated to Activision, otherwise they would be forced to work on Call of Duty at this point.
 

MaitieS

Posts: 64   +52
I really like Dishonored series and I am very sad that sales weren't that good with Dishonored 2 and I hope that we will see more of Dishonored series in the future. I know that not all people like stealth genre but just try it :)
 

MaitieS

Posts: 64   +52
"Devs want to work on new properties incorporating 'seamless multiplayer' and 'environmental storytelling'"
No thanks. Dishonored 2 didn't flop due to lack of immersion shattering multi-player shoe-horned into a single-player game (like that hasn't been tried before), it flopped for the same reason DX:MD did - it was a chronically unoptimized & buggy turd that lost a lot of the feel and fluidity of gameplay that made the earlier 2011-2012 games superb.

Dishonored 1 (2012) vs Dishonored 2 (2016). I'm pretty sure games aren't supposed to simultaneously look 4x uglier AND run 6-10x slower after 4 years...
The game was way too buggy, performance-wise. It was a nightmare to run. But it didn't look uglier. Dishonored 2 is a beautiful looking game.

That guy probably just played it on Ultra Low instead of Ultra because I finished Dishonored 2 3x & that game is so beautiful, artworks in game (all not just collectable) and textures. I can say that this graphic looks great just like The Witcher 3 if not even better :) (I played it on Ultra all)
 

Capaill

Posts: 1,200   +737
I have played Dishonored maybe 7 times and Dishonored 2 twice. I didn't enjoy Dishonored 2, it felt like a chore to get through, especially that level with the moving rooms - I spent hours trying to find the way out of it, it was extremely frustrating. Certainly Dishonored 2 was graphically better but I felt like it just wasn't fun to play. I don't intend to ever play it again but may fire up Dishonored sometime. I think the only fans of Dishonored 2 will be those who have played it a few times, know all the normal routes and want to try out some of the new skills. That's not a journey I want to take.

I have a similar sour experience from Deus Ex Mankind Divided. Human Revolution was fun to play and replay but Mankind Divided felt like it was more graphical bling than fun. I just didn't enjoy the last game at all and had to force myself to play it a second time (I didn't finish it).