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

ethomaz

Banned
I think people are misunderstanding what he's saying. It's not that he is against PS+ or anything, it's the fact that he signed a shit deal thinking there would be way less PS5s available. He should have negotiated a per download rate or a MUCH higher flat fee than he did, instead he basically gave away his game for free but didnt get any extra benefit from it that he should have for such a huge ps5 audience.
It had way less PS5 availability.
Sony forecast was way higher but got shrunk by silicon issues.

BTW without the PS+ deal he should not even finish the game… now he is thinking he could sell more lol
 
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NickFire

Member
It appears they are literally saying:

1) We needed money and cut a deal to launch on PS+.
2) When we made the deal we expected to launch at the beginning of the current console cycle.
3) But then we had to delay our launch because the game was not done.
4) When we were ready to launch, there were more new consoles in consumers hands then would have existed if we launched sooner.
5) So more people downloaded the game, and now we blame the deal we made that gave us the money to finish the game for not making as much as we possibly could have from the game.

Very poor form for them to go on an Xbox branded podcast and trash the PS+ deal they made that helped them weather financial difficulties. It comes across like a jaded ex-spouse who is mad that their ex invested their half of the property division and made a profit from it.
 

ethomaz

Banned
It appears they are literally saying:

1) We needed money and cut a deal to launch on PS+.
2) When we made the deal we expected to launch at the beginning of the current console cycle.
3) But then we had to delay our launch because the game was not done.
4) When we were ready to launch, there were more new consoles in consumers hands then would have existed if we launched sooner.
5) So more people downloaded the game, and now we blame the deal we made that gave us the money to finish the game for not making as much as we possibly could have from the game.

Very poor form for them to go on an Xbox branded podcast and trash the PS+ deal they made that helped them weather financial difficulties. It comes across like a jaded ex-spouse who is mad that their ex invested their half of the property division and made a profit from it.
He is salty because his game is bad and didn’t sell because it is bad.
 
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SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
So…. It sold much more than expected but he lost money? What?
It was redeemed for free at a much higher rate than expected.

The extent to which this corresponds to lost sales is dubious, though. Soulstorm launched in rough shape to middling reviews, so much so that it had to "relaunch" as a fixed "enhanced edition" months later. It underperformed because the product was underwhelming.

Also, I would bet that a number of those people redeeming the game didn't even have PS5's yet, they were just redeeming it through their browser for the day they one day would.
 
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ReBurn

Gold Member
This summary you wrote is terrible. Without wanting to listen to a movie length podcast to get the actual info ... what are you saying?

That way more people downloaded the game for free than they expected, which cannibalized potential sales? You talk about how it "moved more than 4 million units during the month it was free" but they expected it to "sell" between 50k and 100k during the negotiations. Can you explain that more clearly? They only expected 50k-100k free downloads? Or they expected that number during the free month to also sell to people who didn't have PS+?

How can the game have "40 times more sales than expected" and result in a huge loss of money, unless it's not SALES we are talking about?

Based on what you wrote my guess is simply this: They agreed to a free month for a lump sum payment. WAY more people than planned took advantage of that offer, and it essentially killed the potential sales they actually expected to have.

Is that correct?
It's not that tough to understand. 3.9 million more people downloaded it for free than Oddworld Inhabitants expected. He thinks those 3.9 million people would have bought the game for money and his studio would have profited more,

I think this guy's ego is a bit inflated. I got the game on PS Plus. After sinking a few hours into it I wouldn't have paid for it. It's not that great. Something I might have tossed in the backlog for cheap during a holiday sale.
 

K2D

Gold Member
Might have downloaded it, but I have DEFINETLY not PLAYED it.

Didn't it get like a 5/10 average from critics?
 
People also forget this game was in like 3 or 4 sony showcases/sop before it came out. Sony pushed this game hard to the point where we were all tired of seeing it, so its not surprising the playstation marketing push bumped its numbers.

At the end of the day the game was a dud. It probably didn’t sell for shit on xbox or pc either
 

nikolino840

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.
The game Is not even perfect...
 
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...

If anything i think sony overpaid for this. This game wouldn’t have sold 50k copies if not over-marketed by them
 
I'm guessing they asked Sony for a back end deal and Sony said no.
So he wants the money to be scalable, if you sell more "free" copies you get paid more, because your game brought more people into the Sony ecosystem.
Sony or them had no crystal ball, but this lies with them not Sony. And you can only do better next time.
 
I mean that is the risk you take, there is always a risk when you take these kinds of deals. You just never know if you took too little money, sometimes you get lucky and you get more. I don't know how the negotiations went or what kind of changes could have been made, but that's what you negotiated. Hindsight is always 20/20.
 

ethomaz

Banned
Yes. That was the question. Why are we talking download numbers when I am sure he has access to engagement numbers that show actual playtimes.
He has? I don't know how PS+ deal is done.
I mean if the deal is not about number of players using the App I don't think Sony shares it with them.
After all it was a pre-paid deal and the number os players using the App has no actual relevancy to it.
Sony probably shared the numbers of downloads with him.
 
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NEbeast

Member
eh? no it's not, at least not until the merge with PSNow happens in June, this article as a whole is very poor & it starts with that misinformation

"Appeared on xbox expansion pass podcast" I wonder why.
Well Done Ok GIF by funk
 

Dick Jones

Gold Member
Maybe he didn't realise that ps4 owners could redeem ps5 games on the ps app while they wait for a chance to get a PS5. I feel sorry for Lorne as the original PS1 games were and are awesome. I was hoping the game would do well as I love the Oddworld vibe. I redeemed it and I love it, faults and all. Maybe it's nostalgia (definitely is)
 

chonga

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.
We don't know that. Phil has talked openly about how GP has multiple models and they talk to studios and publishers to see what's best for both parties. No reason that PS+ isn't similar.

I'd also argue lump sums are better for smaller projects, not worse. A big studio or publisher can ride out a few flops, small ones can't. The certainty of a lump sum is therefore beneficial, especially if you are very small or trying something new and you're unsure of reception.

That's even more the case if any of the amount is provided in advance.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
*Downloaded 4 million times

This statement is bait for investors. "look how much our game sells".
No doubt.

Long time ago I had job working for third party marketing companies. Me and my coworkers drove a van around town and gave out samples. Anything from new candy and chocolate bars, individual sized Vector cereal, whatever contract the company signed.

You'd do a sample run in 1 or 2 week cycles before moving onto the next product.

I must had given out like 100,000 pieces of candy...... stand at union station x handful of candy per person x probably 1000s people per day. We'd go through a van's worth of wholesale boxes fast. You'd give out shit so fast you cant even keep up reaching into your bag it dole it out.

I guess according to this metric (and that was only one location for two weeks), estimated sales would be 100,000 units!

And just like many of you who download stuff and never play it (me as well), samples are the same thing. You look at the nearby garbage bins later in the day and tons of people would throw out what you gave them. Most people didn't give a shit about sample sized cereal. They'll grab it. But they'll toss it.
 
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UnNamed

18+ Member
Lorne Lanning had serious issues with Sony in the past, trust them again is reiterating the same mistake.
 

hemo memo

Gold Member
Free download =/= lost sales

I mean I'm one of the people who download it, played it, finished it and enjoyed it but if it wasn't on PS+ I would never have bought it.
 
Isn’t this a problem with most day one new releases or games released shortly after release date on a subscription service? People actually think Sony releasing high production, expensive games that costs millions of dollars do one on a cheap subscription service is a good idea? Sure, it’s probably good for gamers, but the developers have to be losing a lot of money majority of the time by doing this.
 

Jaybe

Member
Presumably both parties liked the deal and terms when they both agreed to it.
 
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JaksGhost

Member
Does he remember he released it on PS4 as well as the Epic storefront as a PC exclusive? Man fucked himself because he has zero business sense. He also needs to talk about how he was so financially under that he had to take the deal just to finish financing the game.
 

Dorago

Neo Member
I've always liked Lorne but he tends to have his head halfway up his ass too. Four million downloads of a free game DOES NOT equal four million 'lost' sales. This is the same idiot logic they've always used for piracy too. Here's the number I really want to hear. How many people had a PS Plus account at this time and what were the download numbers of the other games offered during that period?
 

MasterCornholio

Gold Member
Sounds like they should have negotiated it better. But then again COVID did catch many off guard. Still I don’t see how Sony is to blame for this since they did give them money that helped them complete the game.
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
What in the world is this guy talking about PS5's so much for since the game was cross-gen? lol

He seems to just be kind of clueless either way; anyone with a + account could add his game to their library via web/app/their PS4 even if they wanted to wait to buy a PS5.


BTW why a exclusive Xbox GamePass podcast talks about PlayStation Plus after all? Serious question.
They asked them their thoughts on sub services in general, and how they as devs view them in comparison.

Not sure why that's a big deal for a channel about Xbox Gamepass to ask?

Anyways FF to about 1h13m30s in if you want to hear it. (i timestamped approx)

 
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PlayStation Plus is essentially Sony’s answer to Xbox Game Pass. PS Plus offers subscribers two free games a month and can significantly help small and medium-sized studios who might not have the marketing budget to put their games out there. However, not every studio benefits from the arrangement, as Oddworld: Soulstorm exemplifies.

According to studio head Lorne Lanning, the agreement was evidently a disaster for developer Oddworld Inhabitants. He described the decision to bring Oddworld: Soulstorm to PS Plus as “devastating,” costing the studio a significant amount of money.

Lanning recently went on the Xbox Expansion Pass podcast. During the interview, he explained how the studio lost out on tens of millions of dollars due to the PS Plus deal. According to Lanning, Oddworld Inhabitants suffered from financial difficulties during Oddworld: Soulstorm’s development. The studio agreed to offer the game free for a month through PlayStation plus in exchange for an undisclosed sum. Oddworld Inhabitants negotiated the payment expecting Soulstorm to sell between 50,000 and 100,000 copies at launch. However, it ultimately moved more than 4 million units during the month it was free with PlayStation Plus.

The COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in the problem. The outbreak forced developers to work from home, pushing the release of Oddworld: Soulstorm back to April 2021. While COVID delays were common during that time, it also meant that the PS5 had been on the market for three additional months. This resulted in the game having significantly more potential PS5 players than either Sony or Oddworld Inhabitants expected during their negotiations. As a result, Oddworld: Soulstorm saw more than 40 times more sales than the developer’s most optimistic estimate. That would usually be fantastic, but in this case, it meant the studio lost out on a staggering amount of money.

Nobody was buying that shit, get out of here with your pipe dreams. It’s Oddworld, there are like 15,000 fans in the world, lol.
 
First PS+ was not the answer to gamepass it was the answer to games with gold .

Second , you had to have a PS5 to get the PS+ game so they should have known how many PS5's have been sold and expected every one of them to gra0b the game , what did they expect with an April release ??

Third , everyone who picks up the game isn't lost revenue . I picked it up on PS+ and I have never even installed it ( like most of my PS+ titles) It is definitley nothing I would have purchased .

Obviously they were hard up for cash and signed a deal they now regret , no one to blame but themselves.
 

Gambit2483

Member
This is the crutch for offering games day one or early after release on a service

You're missing out on a lot of sales depending on the game because most people won't buy it after playing it for cheap
MS is only doing Gamepass because they can litterally afford to lose Millions of dollars for several years before its even halfway profitable.

It's the ultimate loss leader of the videogame business
 

Jaybe

Member
First PS+ was not the answer to gamepass it was the answer to games with gold .

Second , you had to have a PS5 to get the PS+ game so they should have known how many PS5's have been sold and expected every one of them to gra0b the game , what did they expect with an April release ??

Third , everyone who picks up the game isn't lost revenue . I picked it up on PS+ and I have never even installed it ( like most of my PS+ titles) It is definitley nothing I would have purchased .

Obviously they were hard up for cash and signed a deal they now regret , no one to blame but themselves.
Great points. A quick correction though, chronologically PS+ And its free games were launched in 2010. Games with Gold started in 2013 as a response to PS+.
 

01011001

Gold Member
am I the only one who completely forgot that it was free on PS+ in the first place? I haven't touched it yet... so... I mean...
 
First of all, brand new games that do make it big from being free on PS+ from day 1, are usually multiplayer / F2P games like rocket league. The free month was enough to get the hype train going and then everyone else that hasnt heard about the game or didnt have PS+ wanted it as well because its an addicting online community game. Oddworld is a singleplayer game with zero replay value (unless you want to collect random crap) and was being offered as a next gen game when there was hardly any next gen only games. So a lot of people wanted to play it for that reason and because its a direct sequel finally to an old franchise. Game however didnt have any hype behind it.

Second, IMO I played two hours and was bored out of my mind, game looks like a low budget title and I doubt that many people would have actually bought it. Not to mention, there was barely any marketing about it, if it wasnt on PS+...like 10 people would know the game exists.
 

TheHustler

Member
The game wasn’t even that good, no way it sells 4 million. Saying they lost 10s of millions of dollars shows his ignorance on the market and how these types of deals turn out.
 

Shmunter

Gold Member
PS+ puts a lot o focus on the monthly titles. The claim it or lose it is a clear fomo motivator. Whether people play it is a another matter, but claims are likely high.

On services like Gamepass this would not happen as much as it's not a claim, it's there as part of the all you can eat and you download it or not while it's on the service.

So no, ps+ claims do not indicate lost purchase numbers 1:1, however it can indicate popularity if downloads are higher or lower than other claims on the service.
 
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