This past fall, Montreal-based developer Juicy Beast released Toto Temple Deluxe on the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One. It was that colourful, chaotic-looking game with a goat.
Unfortunately for them, Juicy Beast have announced on their website that the game "didn't sell very well." Although they don't provide any sales numbers, they do give a detailed and interesting exploration into what they feel went wrong.
Our review of Toto Temple Deluxe found favour in its fun gameplay, but lamented its heavy dependence on local multiplayer, lacking both online modes and an established single-player quest. The developers agree, identifying these factors as some of the main reasons the game didn't find a hook with players:
At the end of the day, we think the biggest factor is because it's a local-multiplayer game with no online play. The game is aiming at a pretty niche audience by requiring actual human friends to play, and we can't ignore the impact it has on sales. A quick look at comments on YouTube, Reddit and such, and it's obvious that a lot of people are simply not buying the game for this very reason (that along a lack of solo experience).
Another factor discussed was the difficulty of porting the game (which originally released on Ouya) to all three major consoles at once. According to Juicy Beast, the Wii U port ate up about half of the total programming time spent on the three versions. And with no exclusivity, they say, all but one company seemed unwilling to provide them any digital exposure:
Because of that, we weren't really able to get a featured spot on any the storefronts, except for Nintendo who actually featured us on both the American and European front pages. Thanks Nintendo!
With the Nintendo boost, Juicy Beast says Nintendo's sales pretty much matched those of other systems.
The entire article on Toto Temple Deluxe's fate is good reading for anyone interested in all the hard work that can go into independently promoting a game as well as programming one. It's also pleasantly lighthearted and optimistic for what the developers themselves consider a failure. They seem eager to learn from their mistakes for a second go, and it's hard to not want to get behind their enthusiasm.