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Yoko Taro doubts Nier Replicant will sell very well because Automata was 'a fluke'

Yoko Taro
(Image credit: Square Enix)
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NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... arrived today, and we like it an awful lot, with some caveats. "Even in its remastered form, Nier remains a singular and at times tedious game, a piece of art eager to try everything and constantly seeking out the hardest notes to hit," we said in our 90% review. "But it's also one of the most memorable games I've ever played, and the remaster captures and enhances its greatness in just about every way."

One person who doesn't share that level of enthusiasm for the game is Yoko Taro, the creative director of the Nier games. In a message posted on the Square Enix website, he reminded everyone that Nier Replicant is just a "version upgrade" of the 2010 PS3 original, and predicted that it's not going to sell very well because none of his games ever do.

"In recent years, when I have been around Square Enix, they always give off this palpable aura of enthusiasm as if to say 'Look! Nier: Automata (the previous thing I made) did well, so Nier Replicant will also sell now'," he said. "I would like to take this opportunity to tell Square Enix to take a good hard look at reality. Only the names are similar and the content of the two games is completely different, so it’s not really going to sell all that well now, is it lads?"

"I mean, come on, I made it! Automata selling was a fluke, and all my other stuff has hardly sold anything worthy of note. If you really do go ahead and manufacture all these discs and then store them in a big pile in a warehouse somewhere, the only thing we can do with that will be to have a good game of frisbee. Although, I mean… that does sound like fun and all…"

It's an unusual attitude for a creative director to take about his own game, but Yoko Taro is pretty well known as a bit of a strange fellow. There's even a book about him, published in 2019, called The Strange Works of Yoko Taro (opens in new tab). But his partner on the project, producer Yosuke Saito, shared some doubts of his own—although at least he has a backup plan.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

"NieR: Automata’s big success was honestly somewhat of a miracle, so I don’t think we will be selling quite that much… However, if we don’t shift a certain amount then Mr. Yoko and myself will be forced to travel the world, selling the game out the back of a van. Ah, and Mr. Okabe (opens in new tab) will have to come along too!" he said. "So now you know this, please keep on supporting the NieR series. Please, anything but the van…"

Yoko Taro recently confirmed that he's working on another new game for Square Enix, and he doesn't seem to have much hope for it either: He described it during a livestream last week as "a somewhat unusual game" that he has "no idea how to explain or sell."

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.