People Can Fly had some bad news about the outrider development team’s development team. I’m referring to you, Square Enix, and Xbox Game Pass, who has received some unwelcome information.
After releasing the cooperative action game on April 1, the Polish firm announced that they had yet to receive any funds on their investor website (IGN translated the communication). They have no idea how much it sold for. And that’s not good news for Outriders’ stock price.
According to the company, the copyright award for the game was settled upon with Square Enix personnel, who published the game on August 16, after the first quarter after the Outriders were released. However, this did not occur, implying that less money was made from the game’s sales than its creation, distribution, and promotion.
One of the team’s leaders, Sebastian Wojciechowski, claimed they didn’t know how much the Outriders could sell. Still, they anticipated that 2-3 million copies had been sold, believing that he would earn money after the first quarter. However, since Square did not pay, it was most likely a failure.
The lack of profit, according to Wojciechowski, is due to the publisher and the distribution contracts that were signed for the game, pointing to the fact that the game was immediately available on Xbox Game Pass. In any event, they’ll keep working on the game and expect Square to keep promoting it. People Can Fly now working on Square and Take-Two, two other games.
At the same time, a third project is in the works, which will be released independently. According to Wojciechowski, the latter is not a coincidence because, while there are numerous benefits to working with a publisher, there are also drawbacks. The truth is that the publisher does not offer sufficient sales data, that the studio cannot influence the sales process, and that they do not own the IP.
Outriders had mixed reviews from the press when it was first released (you can read our review here), but it quickly became a popular game in the spring. In May, a Square Enix spokesman stated that the game has been tried by 3.5 million people and might be one of the company’s following great IPs.
Even Square’s president remarked about the game’s strong results in June, thanks to Xbox Game Pass. If the $65 game didn’t recoup despite this, either the percentage of Game Pass subscribers was too high, or Square overspent. In any case, the signals aren’t looking good.