Publisher slashes Callisto Protocol sales hopes by over half after it fails to meet absurd expectations

Sneaky mutant in The Callisto Protocol
(Image credit: Krafton)

The Callisto Protocol's publisher, Krafton, is pretty unhappy with how much the game is selling, but it might only have itself to blame. As reported by Yonhap, the game's sales expectations have been revised significantly downwards after it failed to meet the publisher's ridiculous expectations since its release last month. Krafton had expected The Callisto Protocol to sell 5 million copies this year, but now puts that figure at around 2 million, which it admits still "will not be easy."

In briefings during the game's development, Krafton talked up The Callisto Protocol as a "Quad A (AAAA), all day!" experience, which goes some way to explaining why the company poured 200 billion won ($161.6 million/£129.8 million) into the game over the course of three years. Despite the fact that The Callisto Protocol was the first game in a new series from a new studio, Krafton had high hopes for it, but those hopes have collided with reality since the game's release.

Although The Callisto Protocol carries a Dead Space pedigree—the game was helmed by Dead Space creator Glen Schofield—it was profoundly unlikely to sell 5 million copies even if it had received a warmer critical response than it did. The Dead Space games are well-loved and well-known (enough for EA to greenlight a full remake of the first game), but they weren't sales titans even in their own time. Expecting something that doesn't even wear the Dead Space name to massively outperform those games seems like the kind of shared delusion that's only possible in corporate boardrooms.

Yonhap reports that Krafton hopes it'll gin up more enthusiasm for the game with post-release support and content, including new game modes, story DLC, and cosmetic add-ons. You can check out The Callisto Protocol's DLC roadmap (sparse on detail as it is) in a tweet from the game's official account made just before release last year.

Despite its flaws, we actually had a fairly good time with The Callisto Protocol here at PC Gamer. Our reviewer, Shaun Prescott, scored the game 79% in his Callisto Protocol review, criticising its overuse of clichés but praising it for nailing the basics of an "engaging, linear sci-fi survival horror that spins a deepening dystopian yarn around dozens of stressful encounters".

We've reached out to Krafton for comment on this story, and will update if we hear back.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.