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Oddworld Dev Says PS Plus Free Game Deal Was’ Devastating’

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
I suppose we know now that PS+ games are negotiated for an upfront sum, not an amount per download. This feels like a bad business decision for new developers or new IPs, because they won't really have accurate projections to understand potential sales.
this is not surprising, i think most people knew this many many years ago since PS Plus is not gamepass.
Its a "gamble" for devs who want to put game on PS Plus.

This is also one of the reason why Sony dont put alot of 3rd party blockbuster AAA on PS Plus, because the devs would know it will still sell alot out of PS Plus and will negotiate for higher payment from Sony.
 
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IFireflyl

Gold Member
The thing is that this is actually excellent marketing for them for any future games, they're just too stupid to see that. And pretending that four-million free downloads would have equated to four-million sales if it hadn't been on PlayStation+ is idiotic. This developer needs to grow up.
 
That is really a weird way of spin things.

If the game was not on PS+ no way 4 million may buy it… it reached 4 million due Plus.
I don’t think he was saying that 4 million downloads were a bad thing, just that because so many people downloaded it via PS+, it heavily limited the potential for people to actually buy it, limiting the amount they could’ve made from actual sales.
 

Chukhopops

Member
Do you need a PS5 to claim PS+ PS5 games? No idea since I don’t use Plus.

If you do then his logic kinda makes sense: because of the delay from Jan to Apr, more people had PS5s so his initial estimate was way off and he would have asked for more money if he had known.

If you can claim PS5 games without a console then it makes no sense since the delay would have no impact on people claiming the game.
 
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skit_data

Member
As an old school Oddworld fan;
the game wasn’t very good IMO.

It was a far cry from Oddysee and Exoddus according to me. It doesn’t surprise me it sold poorly. Too much crafting IMO. I found New n Tasty fine in terms of gameplay and wish they would’ve kept Soulstorm closer to a regular remake of Exoddus.
 

baphomet

Member
That isn't how it works.

They took an upfront payment that they agreed on to have it free for a month. The amount of people who downloaded it during the month means nothing. Those are not "sales."

I downloaded that trash and have literally never played it, nor do I ever plan on it.
 

reksveks

Member
He basically failed to go back to Sony and renegotiate after the delay (that itself would have been weird) and/or missed understands the fact a download isn't a sale.

He maybe could have benefited from a cost per download model or a hybrid one.
 

kingpotato

Ask me about my Stream Deck
I don't trust gamerant as a source, but if it were true the logic is so flawed. You can't count all the free copies as lost sales when a vast majority of those individuals probably wouldn't have bought the game. I redeemed it but haven't installed it played it. Does he count me as a lost sale? I wouldn't have bought it and I even have a passing interest in the franchise.
 

Withnail

Member
Haven't watched the video, but if he thinks the 4m people who claimed it on PS+ would have bought it at full price then he's lost the plot. But then Lorne Lanning is hardly new to saying dumb things.

I guess what he's really saying is the number of people who claimed it for free massively exceeded expectations and so they didn't get enough from the deal. That's on him and his team.

I assume he didn't bring up the horrendous quality issues the game had at launch. It was incredibly unbalanced (some sections were virtually impossible) and there were spots where you could repeatedly fall out of the game map.
 
I got it included with PS+ but I wouldn’t have bought it.

I do wonder whether Sony are changing their payment options for devs given PS+ extra will be changing content regularly.

I feel the same way about PS+ extra and GamePass. The types of games I’d download on there are games I wouldn’t have any intention of buying.
 
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Liamario

Member
4 million plus downloads, is not the equivalent of 4 million sales. This guy is wondering why his company was in financial difficulty and he can't even understand that concept.
 

Midn1ght

Member
They also took Epic's money during development in exchange of a lifetime exclusive deal I believe which potentially lost them millions as well for not being on Steam. (Unless Epic gave them a ridiculous amount which is totally possible too)

I get that smaller studio need funding, etc... but trying to cash out before the game is even out will inevitably lead to these kind of situation sometimes. Very disappointing, I have fond childhood memory of Oddworld on PS1 and enjoyed the New N Tasty remake.
 
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Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Whoa despite the title somehow managing to make it look like a PS+ fault (“Game available for free on day one? Not everything that shines is made of gold” would have been a better headline but 🤷‍♂️)… brings back memories (I think this is where the MoneyHat concept came from, this strip by Penny Arcade):


Lorne likes these deals but he underestimated the amount required or is deluded about the sales potential of his company titles or he underestimated how badly giving a game away for “free” in PS+ or GamePass or InsertNetflixLikeServiceForGames… or all.
 
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dvdvideo

Member
Sounds like a movie studio claiming they lost billions to torrents on movies that a massive section of which would have bought $0.00.
Yes they lost some, but knowhere near as much as implied or stated.
 

Mithos

Member
Do you need a PS5 to claim PS+ PS5 games? No idea since I don’t use Plus.

If you do then his logic kinda makes sense: because of the delay from Jan to Apr, more people had PS5s so his initial estimate was way off and he would have asked for more money if he had known.

If you can claim PS5 games without a console then it makes no sense since the delay would have no impact on people claiming the game.
You do not need a PS4/PS5 at all. You can claim from the Playstation website after logging in with your account.
 
And? This is the studio's own fault for performing bad cost/benefit analysis.

Also, it's not as though Oddworld was ever going to come close to 4 million launch sales.
 
I don’t think his dreams should be true at all.
He think the 4 million players that downloaded the game due PS+ should buy the game if not on PS+.

The game without PS+ could have sold 100k units at launch because nobody cared.

I added the game to my library but never played it (and probably won’t ever play it).
I don't think this is really what the developer is trying to say. I'm sure is well aware that a Ps+ download is not the same as a sold copy. He is probably saying that when he made the financial agreement with Sony they believed that the numbers of subscribers on Ps5 would have been a lot lower that it actually was when the game was actually published, so the sum they agreed upon was lower than it could have been
 

yurinka

Member
So it sold 4 million physical/digital copies? Can't be that, right? Or it was downloaded 4 million times on ps+?

Because if it's the latter, that says nothing about how much it could of sold because most ps+ users just cop the free game even if they never play it.

Bit misleading here.
I assume he means that they estimated that to include it on PS+ would mean to lose 50K-100K units sold so agreed with Sony to get paid accordingly to compensate that. And they got paid upfront before putting the game on PS+ considering these estimations, not the downloads.

But then the game was downloaded by 4M PS+ users instead, way more than expected due to covid, many of who wouldn't have bought the game outside PS+, but still considering this their estimation was too low and would have been better to estimate a way higher number.
 
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DukeNukem00

Member
I suppose we know now that PS+ games are negotiated for an upfront sum, not an amount per download. This feels like a bad business decision for new developers or new IPs, because they won't really have accurate projections to understand potential sales.

You have estimates based on how other titles fared in the market and probably on internat sale tracking tools, how steamspy was. You look how games of your ilk do on average and you negotiate a sum from that. Sometimes anomalies happen
 
I get his point. This is the problem with the subscription model for the gaming industry. Games like these just aren't a good fit for day-one subscription releases.

Games that are live-service, multiplayer, GaaS and rely heavily on MTX would be much more suitable for day-one releases on a subscription service. As a higher # of player count might potentially lead to higher revenue.

But games without any in-game monetization just doesn't make any sense for a day-one release on any subscription service (from a business POV).
 

bender

What time is it?
I’ve been a fan since I saw the big box of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee at Target. We had just gotten a PC for Encarta. Game was incredible.

Does Oddworld still have an audience?

I really don’t know if it does.

At least it got out there.

Amazing but incredibly dated games.

Lorne Lanning, Ron Gilbert, even Tim Schafer share this hell.

Tried and true game design, amazing writing and polish, more heart than anything in this business, hellish financials.

The Old Gods are dying.

(David Jaffe)
(Yuji Naka)
(Yu Suzuki)
(Keiji Inafune)
(Koji Igarashi)
(Shinji Mikami)
(Dennis Dyack)




Randy Pitchford, healthy as a horse.

Really apt description of Oddworld. I loved those games in the 90s but they haven't aged well.

My only niggle would be that I'd exclude Tim from your list. While Psychonauts 2 isn't the pinnacle of 3D platforming, I'd say the mechanics are good and head and shoulders above most of what Double Fine as produced which is usually middling. I'd also scratch Dyack from your list.
 
This guy has been terrible at the business side of things his entire career. I'd also say if what is being said here is 4 million people downloaded it so that means he thinks 4 million people would have bought it had it not been on PS+ for free he's out of his mind, I downloaded it and played it for about 20 minutes, I NEVER would have purchased that game.

If it's because the game was delayed to April that's not a real issue either, it wasn't some next gen showcase for PS5 it was a cross gen title and it wasn't even available for free on PS+ on PS4 so that version had far more potential buyers than the PS5 version did.
 
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Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
I get his point. This is the problem with the subscription model for the gaming industry. Games like these just aren't a good fit for day-one subscription releases.

Games that are live-service, multiplayer, GaaS and rely heavily on MTX would be much more suitable for day-one releases on a subscription service. As a higher # of player count might potentially lead to higher revenue.

But games without any in-game monetization just doesn't make any sense for a day-one release on any subscription service (from a business POV).
Agreed, this is why people that expect traditional games where their design is not fundamentally altered to fit the Day One “free” release over time are going to be disappointed if this became the de facto way to get games.
 

fermcr

Gold Member
These 3rd party timed exclusive deals make little sense to me.
Unless the 3rd party developer receive a crap load of money, this is only a good deal for Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft (console makers). The amount of sales the developers loose by not launching day one on all platforms must be significant...
 
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Banjo64

Gold Member
I mean, sounds like an issue with their own negotiating/sales projections rather than a PS Plus issue.
 
Jssus his whole gaming career has all been down to bad deals, lorne has a pretty bad career when it comes to businesses and such, makes it to the top and falls right down to the bottom, havnt played souls yet but hope it hasnt effected his studio that much, not really sure how he lost the money since the game was free
 

Mephisto40

Member
Maybe they should has trusted their game instead of taking the carrot that was dangled infront of them
It's not like Sony forced them to put it on PS+ for free the month it released
 

SLB1904

Gold Member
Maybe they should has trusted their game instead of taking the carrot that was dangled infront of them
It's not like Sony forced them to put it on PS+ for free the month it released
The game is not good either tbh. I was hyped for it but the gameplay is so bad
 
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SkylineRKR

Member
Its not a popular opinion but engine and performance aside I think this is the best Oddworld game. All of them were trial and error and frustrating, but this one has generous checkpoints and I actually liked the crafting (you can get by with just stones though). I got the good ending.

But yes I think the hype levels were low and especially the launch build wasn't up to par. They probably took some guaranteed money here. Then the game turned out to sell better than expected, apparently.
 

ethomaz

Banned
Do you need a PS5 to claim PS+ PS5 games? No idea since I don’t use Plus.

If you do then his logic kinda makes sense: because of the delay from Jan to Apr, more people had PS5s so his initial estimate was way off and he would have asked for more money if he had known.

If you can claim PS5 games without a console then it makes no sense since the delay would have no impact on people claiming the game.
You don’t need a PS5.
 

ethomaz

Banned
I don’t think he was saying that 4 million downloads were a bad thing, just that because so many people downloaded it via PS+, it heavily limited the potential for people to actually buy it, limiting the amount they could’ve made from actual sales.
Something he will never know.
It could be less than what they initially expected for example.

The number of PS+ downloads is no metric at all.
 
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