Outriders didn't make a profit in 2021, People Can Fly confirms

Outriders didn't turn a profit throughout 2021 and developer People Can Fly have not received any royalty payments from the game.

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lodossrage278d ago

Well, with Outriders and Oddworld, maybe now devs will stop shilling how beneficial it is to them to put their brand new day one games on sub services. I remember how People can fly were raving about how beneficial it was to give their game on gamepass day one, now we can see the common sense reality that the game wasn't profitable.

Now customers can talk about their savings on sub services all they want, but developers need to stop talking to people like their idiots. We DO KNOW 2+2=4

Sciurus_vulgaris278d ago

The issues isn’t Outriders launching on gamepass. Outriders simply didn’t retain enough players to be profitable during its launch year. The title wasn’t Xbox One/Series exclusive, it was available on PC and PlayStation 4/5.

lodossrage278d ago

While that's true, it's the same thing with Oddworld. But the reality is if game creation is as expensive as the industry "claims" it is, then every avenue of revenue would need to be maximized. So if gamepass takes one revenue stream off the board (just like PS Plus with Oddworld), then that one alone could lead to not being profitable.

278d ago
NecrumOddBoy278d ago

Outriders was a GamePass title but still was excellent. Oddworld was on PS+ but let’s be real, it was terrible and would have flopped regardless.

lodossrage278d ago


It doesn't matter which game any of us think is good or a flop.

It doesn't change the fact both games were given "free". And both suffered for it.

One was given on gamepass, one was given on PS Plus.
One is multiplayer, one is single player.
The end result is both stuff lost profit for being "free".

RauLeCreuset278d ago

It's worth noting that the Lorne Lanning did not complain about the game not being profitable. He got buyer's remorse after seeing how many people downloaded the game and thought of the potential lost sales versus their initial sales expectations.

I'm drawing the distinction to point out there are multiple potential downsides to these deals. People keep pushing for the industry to hop aboard the Game Pass model (i.e., Day 1 releases) without care or consideration for the potential ramifications. All they know is that they like Xbox, "free" games, or both.

dcbronco278d ago

People who claim GP is the cause have zero understanding of how business works. Your belief is that the developer gave away most of their ability to make revenue on Xbox for nothing. A developer sells that right to Microsoft for an estimate of what they think they will make from disc sales. They still have the ability to sell disc on Xbox. They will still be selling the game after it is no longer on GP. If it takes $100 million to make a game and you sell day one rights for $25 million you might be making a mistake. It depends on the popularity of the game. If it's wildly popular you probably would have made more waiting. If it's average you might just break even. If it does poorly you might have saved your company. People think these companies have the money to pay for development. They usually don't. They usually borrow money like most businesses. You then have interest on top of the original amount. If you get a cash payment upfront from Microsoft that's less you owe for a loan & interest. If they believe it will be a massive hit, they will pay you more. If a game cost $60 million to develop and you get half from them and you have the other half you don't have any debt. When companies go out of business because of one or two bad launches it's because they didn't have money themselves. They borrowed too much. If you go to GP and you had half the money even after a bad launch you have no debt and your company can keep going. GP gives developers an opportunity. It saves them from potential bankruptcy. It allows them to take chances. GP will mean more developers, more developers will survive and more games. If a developer makes a great product, GP allows them to start making a profit much faster because they are already millions ahead of where they should be and in less or no hole at the start of launch.

Knushwood Butt277d ago

Developers don't sell anything to Microsoft. It is the publishers that fund development, which blows a big hole in your fantasy about GP saving devs from bankruptcy.

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PhillyDillyDee278d ago

I dont think its as simple as “its gamepass’ fault.” Perhaps they made a bad deal on that, but you also cant discount how the game reviewed and played at launch. It was something of a buggy mess when I played it and the endgame content was anemic.

Tacoboto278d ago (Edited 278d ago )

Meanwhile Psychonauts 2 was Double Fine's best-selling game.
And Forza Horizon 5 is the best selling of the franchise.
And the several other devs that say GP has boosted their sales across the board.

But no, it's totally Game Pass and PS+. Never mind that:
- Outriders is an average GaaS with the same brown-grey color palette everyone got sick of by the end of the 360 generation
- Oddworld released in a very buggy state to very meh reviews, sitting currently with a 66 on metacritic.

Sorry for the devs involved but not every game deserves to be profitable just because it releases or just because you want to spin a narrative if it doesn't.

Edit: "Their idiots". Lol - It's *they're* idiots. Perfect spot for a typo.

Outside_ofthe_Box278d ago

Look at it from a logical perspective.

Do you expect people to pay for a sub service AND buy games at $60/$70 a pop?

Right now, people are buying games at the rate it's always been, but do you expect that to continue in the future as more and more subscribe and more and more games go on these sub service day one?

Silly gameAr278d ago (Edited 278d ago )

Wasn't Psychonauts on PS4 too? And, Forza, like Halo, gets bought up a lot in these discussions, but no one wants to bring up the fact that both games are struggling to keep players engaged. Just because no one wants to approve those articles, doesn't make it not true.

As for the "several other devs"? Yeah, People Can Fly was one of those devs, but we see what they're saying now.

Tacoboto278d ago

@Outside Ask that question again in 5 years. As it stands now - yes. Forza Horizon 5 and Psychonauts 2 prove that. Halo sold second only to COD in release month.

@Silly This is about profit and sales, not extended player engagement. Can't speak for FH5 since all the negative hoopla is about Halo, but Halo is what happens when you have a great foundation then the GaaS reality sets in. 343 squandered their opportunity after all the positive buzz from the tech previews.

Chevalier277d ago

FH5 is not the best selling in the franchise. FH4 is. Horizon 5 obtained the best launch sales in the series NOT the best sales overall fyi.

Psychonauts 2 was available for Playstation so your point here does hold up very well. Get your FACTS straight before you call out people. Lol

Tacoboto277d ago

FH4 sales numbers haven't been confirmed before (only player count) and FH4 was also day-and-date on game pass. What point are you exactly trying to prove with your link from... one week after FH5's release that confirms it's both the best selling and most played out the gate?

Double Fine was a third-party developer that has released dozens of games across all major platforms over the last 17 years. Their best-selling title is one available on 2/3rds of its released platforms through subscription. I'm not sure what you're trying to prove except that... being on subscription did not have a perceptibly negative impact on their sales...

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gangsta_red278d ago (Edited 278d ago )

It's hilarious to see people jump back on the "Services killed a game" train again.

Let's not even take into account how when released, Outriders was extremely buggy with huge online issues.

Also, the game released retail on PS and PC, why wasn't it a retail success based off of the huge market share Sony has?

...not even a week ago Psychonauts 2 was a success story here on N4G. most praised it's success because of the PS4...even though that game also released day and date on Game Pass.

So how can GP and services be blamed when Psychonauts 2 being a success but not Outriders and both being day and date?

ocelot07278d ago

Outriders was one of them games I was "unsure about". I had it pre ordered but it was one of them I was unsure about n

Once I found out it was going to release on gamepass day one I cancelled the PS5 pre order.

At the time of release I had one of the many £1 a month or 3 months offers Microsoft like giving out. I gave it a fair shot and I just didn't like it.

So as a customer I'm greatful I got to trial the game instead if taking a risk and splash £60 on the game and regretting it. However, I can see how I I'm part of the problem. Double edge sword I guess.

Tacoboto278d ago

You're not part of any problem. Deals were made between businesses; you the consumer made the best option for yourself and Outriders failed to stand out - you can't be a problem regarding a game you and many found not worth a purchase.

Another important note that people are forgetting to mention is that Outriders has this certain publisher - Square-Enix - that couldn't for the life of them perceive any western title as a success, nor any of their GaaS titles outside of FFXIV. Marvel's Avengers contributed to a $200m loss. Babylon's Fall at this moment has only 36 people playing on Steam. Between the three, only Outriders still has a playerbase above 1k there.

rakentaja278d ago (Edited 278d ago )

Xbox has the smallest player base of all platforms, but should lead the way in sales?
Steam Charts -> 1195 current players (132 million monthly active users).
The game is dead on all platforms.

Kosic278d ago

Sadly outriders was just a rubbish game, I tried the beta and felt it copied more of a rushed free 2 play game than anything else. Boring gameplay, run and gun with loot. No end game from what I heard.

How can you expect it to sell if it's half baked.

Michiel1989277d ago

you dont even know what was paid by ms to have it on GP day 1, so there goes your argument. Maybe it actually made them more money that they otherwise would have. Also the game had a lot of problems on launch, getting a launch right is critical for any new game.

You literally take the only aspect the games had in common (day 1 on a service) and therefore label that thing a failure, while ignoring if the game is actually good, if there was a big enough audience, launch and a pletora of other things.

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278d ago Replies(3)
HeliosHex278d ago

That's a shame because outriders is a dam good game. I don't get how a non profitable game is getting DLC in June though?

akurtz278d ago

Personally it was a good game when playing with friends. That was the fun part, though playing it solo wasn’t satisfying

lodossrage278d ago

that could easily have been part of the contract. A lot of game publishers make deals with devs to make x amount of dlc whether the game is a success or not

PCgamer98278d ago

Personally the game was pretty generic, grindy, and repetitive. I agree that's a bit fun if you have friends around to play with though.

DeusFever277d ago

“I don't get how a non profitable game is getting DLC in June though?”

Because the game development takes a long time and they probably started the DLC before Outriders was released. Because DLC can be more profitable than big game releases. 1/10 the game at 1/3 the price. Because the developer can be contractually obliged even if the game is a money loser. This is how developers go out of business and why Publishers close studios.

HeliosHex277d ago (Edited 277d ago )

@deusfever ah I get what your saying makes sense now.

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darkrider278d ago

One word. Services. You can spin all you want. Gamers won't buy a game they get on any service. Game after game we see that. It would funny to put here some quotes from this studio talking about the benefits of that... That aged badly.

ApocalypseShadow278d ago

We've been saying this again and again that some of these little companies are going to get screwed on services. Thinking that a check is going to be enough and views are a win. Don't know how many times we've had to say this. Not all viewed games are going to become a hit like Rocket League. So, they should try to sell their game. If it doesn't work out or does work out, put it in a service later to make even more money.

And the ones groomed into thinking it's great for them paying almost nothing to play a developer's game, can ruin the developer in the future. The developer may not get another deal, another publisher, etc. And because of low sales, could go belly up, get sold. But the groomed act all smug. Not caring what it does to some developers or the industry. Because not all these developers are going to get EA or Capcom checks to put their game on games pass.

It's like they have to see how screwed up it gets before they learn. Like the same people were pushing that paying for online was better than free on PC and PlayStation. Now, we're all screwed if we want to play online because it spread to everyone.

You just can't teach a brick anything.

RauLeCreuset278d ago

It boggles the mind how so many people want the industry to follow the lead of a multinational tech behemoth that has been throwing its weight around the console industry for 20 years without winning a single generation to show for it. What could go wrong?

lodossrage278d ago

@Apocalypse and RauLe

I agree with the both of you. And the worst part of this whole thing. When everyone wants the industry to follow the "netflix of gaming" gamepass model, it's like they aren't even looking at the problems netflix is facing right now.

But at usual, people are slaves to their vices and will only complain when it's too late to do anything about it. And anyone that was able to see the reality of it will have to usual.

gangsta_red278d ago


So why wasn't this a huge success on PS or PC?

Especially since, from our understanding, more people own and play on PlayStation than they do sub to GP. Shouldn't this game have sold more on PS and be a hit?

So why wasn't Outriders a financial retail success like Psychonauts 2 was? Both were day and date.

RauLeCreuset278d ago


"When everyone wants the industry to follow the 'netflix of gaming' gamepass model, it's like they aren't even looking at the problems netflix is facing right now."

I didn't want to elongate my post by touching on that, but you are right, and that has been on my mind.

People dismiss the misgivings both Nintendo and PS have expressed about the viability of that model and want them to follow the Plan B of the one company among the big three that has never come out on top in the console market, despite the abundant resources at their disposal. (Subsidizing low prices, promotional offers, and allowed loopholes for a subscription service and spending billions to put content on it was not Plan A. Plan A was the original Xbox One plan, but such a blatant power move didn't go down as smoothly as Game Pass.)

Let's be honest. Any other major console manufacturer would have failed out of the industry doing what Xbox has done. The MS pocketbook allows them much more room for error.

278d ago
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