Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was originally going to be about a completely different character

Elias Toufexis has performed a lot of roles over the years—here he is in a 2005 episode of the Canadian crime drama Da Vinci's Inquest—but one of his biggest has to be that of Adam Jensen, the lead character of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided. His roughed-edged voice is a hallmark of the series: "I never asked for this" is one of the most famous videogame utterances to come along in years.

Toufexis has worked on other big-name series since then, including Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell, and Call of Duty, but he said in an interview with VG247 that Jensen is still the role he's mostly closely associated with. "You can go look at my Twitter, no matter what I tweet, inevitably somebody is saying, 'Did you ask for this? I bet you didn’t ask for this'," he said. "It’s the craziest thing, the fact that Jensen got pumped into this top tier of videogame characters was very surprising."

But even though Jensen is now more recognizable as the "face" of Deus Ex than original lead Paul Denton (who was also shown the door after just one game), Square Enix had originally intended the character to be a one-and-done, so the sequel would be an entirely separate game, about someone else entirely.

"They called me for the sequel, and it was a great thing to hear because initially—and I don’t know if anybody knows this, I think it’s OK to say this now—initially they were going to make the sequel without Jensen. They were just going to make another Deus Ex game," Toufexis said.

"And from what I remember when I was told, the marketing team said, 'No, you can’t do that. Jensen has just bumped into this,' like I said, this discussion of top videogame characters ever. 'You can’t just not make a game without him, when you have him ready to go.' And they agreed, and they continued the story of Human Revolution."

The full interview is a lot of fun, particularly if you're a Deus Ex fan, but unfortunately it also confirms that there's still no action on a sequel to Mankind Divided. Toufexis acknowledged that the game's story ended abruptly and didn't quite meet expectations, and while there's no explicit connection made to its relatively lackluster reception, plans to move directly into making a third game in the rebooted series never materialized.

"We were going to, as far as I know, finish up where we finished up in Mankind Divided, and continue into whatever the next game was going to be. And I don’t think that Mankind Divided shipped their goal in terms of sales that they wanted to hit. So it immediately back-burnered," he said. "But I know that they said, I knew we were going to go right into it. In my mind, I had said, ‘OK, we’re doing this one, and then we’re doing the next one.’ And then suddenly I stopped getting phone calls."

Despite that, he implied that there is a plan in place to wrap things up properly: "Everyone’s pissed off about it now, and that makes sense, but once we finish it, you’ll see why [Mankind Divided] ended where it ended," he said. "We just have to fucking get on it."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.