Most people consider 2019’s open-world ‘bikers meet zombies’ (or Freakers, to be exact) game Days Gone to have been a bit of a failure, based on critics’ reviews, so it might come as a surprise to learn that it outsold the critically acclaimed Ghost of Tsushima. But its director says that studio management still treated it like a disappointment despite shifting over 8 million copies.
Jeff Ross, the director of Days Gone who left Bend Studio in 2020 after two decades at the company, tweeted that the game has outsold Ghost of Tsushima. His post came after developer Sucker Punch announced that the Samurai adventure had sold over 8 million copies since launching in July 2020.
In the time since Days Gone arrived on Steam in May 2021, it’s sold over a million more copies.
But Ross says selling more units than Ghost of Tsushima wasn’t enough to satisfy Bend Studio management.
Days Gone launched to very average scores from critics; it has a Metascore of 71 for PS4 and 76 for PC. But user scores are a lot more favorable: 8.4 for PS4, 8.6 for PC, 9.2 from Amazon users, and a Very Positive rating on Steam. Ross did add, however, that although Sony does appreciate high scores from critics, “the grief we got was about the sales, not the scores.” When someone suggested that there might be better leadership at Bend Studio these days, Ross replied with “nope.”
Last year, Bloomberg reported that developer Bend Studio made a pitch for Days Gone 2 in 2019 but was turned down due to the original’s mixed reception and long development time. “Although the first game had been profitable, its development had been lengthy and critical reception was mixed, so a Days Gone 2 wasn’t seen as a viable option,” the publication wrote.