Outriders is one of the latest releases of 2021, hitting the shelves on the 1st of April for the PlayStation and Xbox consoles, PC, and Google Stadia. It was received quite well when it was launched, as publisher Square Enix announced that the co-op shooter amassed over 3.5 million players in its first month. That is no easy feat to achieve, and the industry giant was already calling Outriders its “next big franchise.” Fast-forward three months later, that prospect doesn’t seem quite likely now.
According to an official investor report, the developer of the game People Can Fly has said that it doesn’t exactly know how much the game has sold since no profits have come in as of yet. They haven’t received the royalty funds that they were promised in accordance with the mutual agreement, and this insinuates that Outriders hasn’t earned any royalties, to begin with.
The report says, “According to the agreement, the Publisher would pay them 45 days from the end of the calendar quarter, ie by 16/08/2021 at the latest. Today, however, the money did not enter the Company’s account.”
Outriders, apparently, hasn’t gone past the first quarter of sales and the game’s sales still haven’t covered the entirety of its production costs, including “quality assurance, distribution, and promotion.” The publishing agreement that the developer and Square Enix came to was that the “royalties from the sale of Outriders are due to the company only after all game costs are covered by the publisher.”
Amidst this, People Can Fly currently does not have an exact sales figure. They estimate that it’s somewhere between 2-3 million that hasn’t yet lead to profitability. The developer has left its two cents on the matter by commenting that the publisher might have something to do with this, but this is only speculation and People Can Fly will “analyze the situation further.”
“Perhaps it was caused by some elements of Square Enix’s sales policy, the details of which we do not know, such as partnerships concluded by the Publisher with distribution platforms or entities offering Outriders as an addition to their products. Failure to achieve the profitability level may also mean that the costs incurred by the Publisher are higher than expected. But I don’t want to speculate; we will analyze the situation further. It is worth noting, however, that such explanations take time and our influence on the Publisher’s position is limited. Their role is leading here,” says Sebastian Wojciechowski, the President of the Management Board of People Can Fly.
Despite this, the developer still believes that it will receive profits and royalties later in the year. It also has faith in further promotional activities from the side of Square Enix, but for now, the developer plans on maintaining open communication with its investors, since that’s “what they expect [from them].”
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