Why Is White Knight Chronicles Not as Popular as Demon’s Souls?

These past few days, I am finishing up WKC II (White Knight Chronicles II) for the second time. I have been enjoying the game a lot. According to Wiki, the first installment was released in 2008, and the second one in 2011 for North America. White Knight Chronicles II has two games in one, and I remember spending less time on it than the first installment. The online part of the game was highly addictive–rare drops and grinding for ranks pushed some gamers to the limits. Around the same time, Demon’s Souls, released in 2009, was also another interesting online game for the Playstation3. It received more praise than White Knight Chronicles by word of mouth. I wonder why? Who the heck wants to play as the pious guy? In the entertainment world, being edgy and flawed is more appealing than being a goody-two-shoes. So I rarely hear anyone boast about White Knight Chronicles platinum for obvious reasons. Honestly, I am prouder of the platinum for White Knight Chronicles than Demon’s Souls because it took a lot of determination and patience. The game can become repetitive and unrewarding unlike Demon’s Souls where players get more gratification out of beating bosses. It’s a different type of determination. Expect to grind for several hours until you receive a rare item drop. When you do receive the drop, you get these incredible feelings as if you just hit the jackpot. I suppose with WKC, it can feel like you are gambling. However, the only thing you are losing is time. It can’t possibly be that bad if you are enjoying it?

stats from PSN profile

If you think about it. Only 1.6 percent out of 81,592 players got a platinum achievement whereas Demon’s Souls has 10.13% out of 209,499 players. If I can recall both of these games are Playstation3 exclusive. Both have high learning curves. I remember I felt overwhelmed with the tutorial and the different classes, but once you master the game, you just learn to appreciate it more. From a broad perspective, I wonder were they trying to turn casual console gamers into PC gamers? These two games sort of feel like miniature multiplayer games (I will do a proper game analysis of Demon’s Souls at a later time).

Demon's Souls stats from PSN Profile

I also want to make a point that both games have a knight in front of their cover. If you dig deeper into the White Knight Chronicles story, it’s the same concept as Demon’s Souls. A broken knight, an evil knight is a dangerous knight. Blah Blah Blah about complex human nature. It’s how the story is executed which distinguishes it. If you want to appeal to the mass, you got to find a way to tell a good story. Playing a corruptible person is more relatable than playing a saint saving a princess. Also, I want to stress that what these two games have in common is the level of details in the game design. They are both highly addictive and fun.  It still blows my mind for someone as thorough as me who originally played for story. So yes, story is as important as gameplay if you want to grab a wider audience, or else you would only be pleasing an exclusive group of people. Of course, I am stating the obvious. If money wasn’t the lord of this earthly realm, it might not be such a bad idea to cater toward a smaller group of appreciative gamers. I can only imagine how tiresome it can get creating the same content over and over simply because there’s a market for it. Anyway, I can explain in further detail why these games are similar but excellent in their way. For now I concluded that Demons’ Souls is more popular than WKC because gamers are more responsive to games with darker than lighter themes.

Note: I pulled the stats from psnprofile.com.

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