Outriders is an MMO that launched earlier this year for Xbox, PC, and PlayStation. It was incredibly well-received, with so many players that the servers struggled to initially cope. The fact that the game launched on Xbox Game Pass on day one definitely helped.
However, developer People Can Fly is now saying that it hasn’t received any royalties from the game’s sales from publisher Square Enix. Furthermore, it has no idea how many copies of the game have actually been sold worldwide.
The developer suggests that the game isn’t yet profitable, which is why the company hasn’t received any royalties. It posted on its investor website that the publisher has explained that the revenues from the game’s sales are still lower than its cost of development.
The developer estimates the number of copies sold is between 2 and 3 million. However, with no firm details from Square Enix, it can’t make an informed decision on the exact figure.
The developer goes on to discuss how the increased costs of development may be down to the distribution channels Square Enix chose to use for the game, including Xbox Game Pass. It adds that the publisher may have expected too much of the game, which is why there’s some animosity between the two right now regarding this matter.
As a result of the lack of data from Square Enix, People Can Fly has spoken out about its other upcoming IPs. It says that they will remain the property of the developer, and the company may not work with another publisher again due to the poor experience it’s had with Outriders.
This final comment speaks mountains to the attitude that Square Enix has taken to what appeared to be one of its major launches of 2021. For the game to be kept so close to its chest suggest that sales are below what was expected. The publisher clearly put too much pressure on the sales figures for the title, which is why those figures aren’t being shared.
Outriders was always designed to be a game that sold better over time. Regular content updates will keep copies selling over months and years, bringing new fans into the fold with each new expansion. This, it seems, is not what Square Enix wanted.