Furi is among those rhythmic-action indie games that have aged like fine cheese over half a decade. The title remains unmatched in its trendy mashup from 2016 of action and bullet hell, where players battle a plethora of punishing bosses. The developers recently announced an update to the cult classic title to give it a tint of innovative touch.
Furi’s latest update features a new character and an upgraded version for next-generation platforms and PC. However, Xbox has been singled out this time, which is especially frustrating to players since the original game was released on the console. Xbox Game Pass may have played a role in the stagnant sales of The Game Bakers across its titles.
Recently, a sequence of tweets from The Game Bakers clarifies why it’s skipping Xbox. The developers behind Furi came clean on Twitter and explained why such a conclusion was pushed. The updating process is not a black and white portrait that many of us non-technical people assume.
The team requires resources, time, management, and, most of all, financial support. The title has ostensibly loomed over the indie sphere of the gaming industry, aiding it in selling a hefty amount of copies. However, the game has not sold like hotcakes on all platforms.
We have heard all of you who played Furi on Xbox and we understand your frustration. We are a small indie team and we couldn’t find the time and budget to make that port. ⬇️
— The Game Bakers (@TheGameBakers) May 4, 2022
The reason for Furi lagging behind on Xbox was not that the version was bug-ridden or clunky. Sadly, Xbox Gamepass may have a role to play in keeping the game overshadowed. According to the team behind Furi, the Xbox Game Pass defines whether an indie game succeeds or not on Xbox consoles.
In a recent interview with VICE, Audrey Leprince, the Co-Founder and President of The Game Bakers, stated, “Game Pass is such a fantastic platform for players, so there are possibly more Xbox players than ever interested in indie games. Unfortunately, without Game Pass, it is also very hard for many indie games to be visible on Xbox.”
Furthermore, the developers cited, “Furi never captured a lot of attention on Xbox, and unfortunately, we had to prioritize platforms. We hope to be developing for Xbox again in the future. Thank you for supporting our games.” The developers also developed Haven, which took a substantial share of resources. Haven is a title about two space lovers who leave their old lives behind to invent something anew.
Moreover, the numbers speak for themselves. Furi on Xbox was selling “less and less,” and according to Audrey Leprince, were under “a third” of sales on the Nintendo Switch. Apparently, Haven “didn’t sell at all” on Xbox consoles, beyond its Xbox Game Pass partnership. One thing to remember is that the Xbox Game Pass was released a year later than Furi, but the conclusion has been drawn by comparing Haven’s sales.
Furi sold like hotcakes on Playstation consoles; Audrey Leprince is unsure what caused the phenomenon. Still, the leading theory suggests that Sony emphasizes a “strong connection to Japanese games,” which also affected the design of Furi, and may have played a part. “We’re not sure!” she said. “We’d like to know, though!”
The team of 12 people publishes under their domain. In many circumstances, the reason to work with a publisher is to help them curb these intricate issues. The math has to be in favor of developers; in this case, it was not practical to work intensively for an Xbox update with a lack of resources.
One-third of Furi’s budget, according to Audrey Leprince, was settled by a PlayStation Plus partnership with Sony, while one-fourth of Haven’s budget was paid for by an Xbox Game Pass deal with Microsoft. The deals meant the games were shortly “free” on both consoles.
The profits have to be enough for a self-publishing studio so they can fund their subsequent titles. Leprince continued, “But each game also requires a lot of business development and partnerships. We are not making enough money yet from our games to be able to completely self-fund the next ones. Especially as our games cost between 1.5 to 3M€ [1.58 to 3.16 million USD] to develop. So we are grateful for the opportunities partners like Sony or Xbox give us.”