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It sold how many? The Xbox 360's least expected bestsellers

The biggest gaming successes that we never saw coming

Contrary to popular belief, we here at OXM are not infallible. Sometimes, we make predictions that ultimately, for one reason or another, prove to be misguided. But enough about the time that Ed was convinced frilly cravats were coming back into fashion, or that time Log thought buying shares in beard shampoo was a sound investment.

Here are eight games that, for better or for worse, performed far more successfully in the charts than we ever thought possible.

Sniper Elite V2
Why we thought it would fail: It was a horribly slow and clumsy shooter with one (somewhat) redeeming gimmick.


Why it succeeded: Its launch date of May 4th 2012 put it slap bang in the midst of several months of precisely zero other notable game releases. Clunky controls and drab scenery aside, it also had a single mechanic that people seemed to enjoy; the ability to watch your sniper bullet entering a man's skull in a super slow-mo x-ray shot. And love it or hate it, that's the kind of feature you remember.

You could also say that Sniper Elite V2's popularity was a sign that consumers were bored of the shooter experiences found in Call of Duty and Battlefield, and wanted a more realistic sniping simulator, focusing instead on precision and strategy. That's how 505 Games sold it, at least, and perhaps that's what people thought they were getting. The reality was a tad shonkier than they'd have us believe.

Zumba Fitness
Why we thought it would fail: Use your console to work out? You know it plays games, right?


Why it succeeded: Zumba Fitness: Join the Party retained the top spot in the UK games charts for ten whole weeks during the summer of 2011 - in part because precious little else released during that period, but also because, as it turns out, quite a few people were smitten with the idea of dancing yourself fit. Eventually that one release sold over three million copies worldwide, with the entire franchise shifting over six million units to date - angering hardcore enthusiasts everywhere.

Why we thought it would fail: Prototype looked painfully immature at first glance, and features one of the world's most unlikeable protagonists


Why it succeeded: Turns out people love being given near-invincible power and let loose on a destructible city. Who knew? Explosions, massive body counts, OTT combat, consuming fellow humans and taking on their form, sprinting up the side of a skyscraper, hijacking helicopters... Prototype is convoluted, chaotic schlock, but it was the perfect title to dip into over a long, uneventful summer.

Dragon's Dogma
Why we thought it would fail: It was Capcom's first attempt at a Western-style open-world RPG. Also, it doesn't have much of a plot.


Why it succeeded: Capcom had the difficult task of selling Dragon's Dogma to both Western and Japanese gamers, and somehow succeeded. Japanese gamers - typically derisive of 'yo-ge' (that's Western games with beefy marine type characters and pseudo-serious save-the-world plots) - were reassured by Dragon's Dogma's jaunty fantasy stylings. Westerners, we suspect, were more enthralled by the exciting bestial combat. At the risk of blowing our own trumpets, a little bit of the game's success here in the UK could perhaps be attributed to Matt "Formerly of this Parish" Lees' excellent Youtube talkthroughs, which are still worth a watch.

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