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Opinion Game Dev Square Enix believes Outriders Xbox Game Pass launch has paid off

Dolomite

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May 14, 2020
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I wish they would share more details

From the article

"The game attracted over 3.5 million unique players between its April 1 release and May 1, according to internal data from its publisher, although it didn’t break down the figure at all or comment on Xbox Game Pass specifically at the time, so it remains unclear what percentage of the player base the service’s subscribers account for."


And then there is "

"83% Of Physical Outriders UK Sales Were On PlayStation Consoles"​



So what exactly was there expectations?
If the game sold 50 to 1 PS/Xbox it wouldn't have made a difference. It's been said before but it's worth reiterating that physical sales=/= success when comparing debuts on GP. if MS can afford to pay more upfront for the same content on GP... they're coming back to Gamepass.
 
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Warnen

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Wish it was on PC game pass, hope they get this stuff on both in the future.
 

Excess

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I wonder what sort of residual the publisher/developer receives with Game Pass, aside from the obvious low barrier of entry to playing a particular game and then supporting it through micro-transactions. Is it based on average percentage of playtime, number of downloads, or just a fixed amount of royalties?
 
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elliot5

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I wonder what sort of residual the publisher/developer receives with Game Pass, aside from the obvious low barrier of entry to playing a particular game and then supporting it through micro-transactions. Is it based on average percentage of playtime, number of downloads, or just a fixed amount of royalties?
it's all dependent on the deal they strike, but I would guess most just take an upfront lump sum from Microsoft rather than hours played or number of downloads.
 

Excess

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it's all dependent on the deal they strike, but I would guess most just take an upfront lump sum from Microsoft rather than hours played or number of downloads.
I feel like even with that, what if a developer sees that their game is performing well over others and demands more in return? Like, if that's the case, I'm sure Microsoft has to internally make Game Pass analytics available to developers and publishers. I'm kind of viewing this through the lens of signing an athlete to a sports team and using that as a measurement of how that may work.
 

Elder Legend

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But the amazingly knowledgeable and mostly likely none ignorant financial armchair general at NeoGaf tried to tell me otherwise.... have I been living a lie my entire life on this majestic forum? /jumps of a bridge.
 
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elliot5

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I feel like even with that, what if a developer sees that their game is performing well over others and demands more in return? Like, if that's the case, I'm sure Microsoft has to internally make Game Pass analytics available to developers and publishers. I'm kind of viewing this through the lens of signing an athlete to a sports team and using that as a measurement of how that may work.
Highly highly doubt they would be able to do it. That's part of the risk vs reward of how you anticipate the market to react and what deal you go for. Safest option is lump sum, but if you hit it out of the park then an engagement metric can be more valuable.

When their contract period ends and it comes back to negotiation, then they can look to renegotiate what kind of deal they work out and they surely get metrics of some kind from Microsoft. They can also have telemetry in the game on their own.
 

Kagey K

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I feel like even with that, what if a developer sees that their game is performing well over others and demands more in return? Like, if that's the case, I'm sure Microsoft has to internally make Game Pass analytics available to developers and publishers. I'm kind of viewing this through the lens of signing an athlete to a sports team and using that as a measurement of how that may work.
This is the clearest answer we have ever got on the subject.
How do you pay out developers? I’m a developer, I make a game, I say I’m going to put it in Game Pass, a customer pays [you] $14.99 a month. How do you decide how much to pay me, the developer?

Our deals are, I’ll say, all over the place. That sounds unmanaged, but it’s really based on the developer’s need. One of the things that’s been cool to see is a developer, usually a smaller to mid-sized developer, might be starting a game and say, “hey, we’re willing to put this in Game Pass on our launch day if you guys will give us X dollars now.” What we can go do is, we’ll create a floor for them in terms of the success of their game. They know they’re going to get this return.

[In] certain cases, we’ll pay for the full production cost of the game. Then they get all the retail opportunity on top of Game Pass. They can go sell it on PlayStation, on Steam, and on Xbox, and on Switch. For them, they’ve protected themselves from any downside risk. The game is going to get made. Then they have all the retail upside, we have the opportunity for day and date. That would be a flat fee payment to a developer. Sometimes the developer’s more done with the game and it’s more just a transaction of, “Hey, we’ll put it in Game Pass if you’ll pay us this amount of money.”

Others want [agreements] more based on usage and monetization in whether it’s a store monetization that gets created through transactions, or usage. We’re open [to] experimenting with many different partners, because we don’t think we have it figured out. When we started, we had a model that was all based on usage. Most of the partners said, “Yeah, yeah, we understand that, but we don’t believe it, so just give us the money upfront.”
 
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Stuart360

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I guess Elder Scrolls 6, Fable , Hellblade 2, Awoved, Starfield, Stalker 2, Hades, and so on... are also B Tier and having game pass written all of them too :/
I love the continued 'Gamepass will be just full of shovelwear' memes when its litered with AAA games, and even the AA and Indie games they have are very well reviewd and very well regarded Indie and AA games. They chose the best ones for Gamepass.
 

CatLady

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this game would have struggled big time if not for gamepass.
i bought it anyway because i am a loot whore.
And this game so far is my surprise of the year,

I enjoyed it WAY more then i think i would.
the endgame is absolute sheit tho
I wasn't sure I would bother with it even on Game Pass after the demo, but I did and I ended up loving this game. I didn't buy, I only played it on Game Pass, but the devs said they may do story expansions, and if they do I will buy the game and the expansions. That never would have happened if it hadn't been on Game Pass.
 

Elder Legend

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I love the continued 'Gamepass will be just full of shovelwear' memes when its litered with AAA games, and even the AA and Indie games they have are very well reviewd and very well regarded Indie and AA games. They chose the best ones for Gamepass.
Agreed.
 

Kimahri

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I'd just like to point out something with regards to the two or three people who can't contribute anything more constructive to anything regarding xbox and game pass than a lol emoji.

The three stages of truth:

1. Ridicule

2. Violent opposition

3. Acceptance
 
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Hezekiah

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If the numbers were flipped I am sure SE would have stated GP generated more players ... hiding numbers is just a thank MS for the cheque...
Square Enix has taken the money upfront for a new second-tier franchise, but they're bound to say this regardless to justify their decision. They're hardly going to say anything else.
 
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Spidey Fan

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Square Enix has taken the money upfront for a new second-tier franchise, but they're bound to say this regardless to justify their decision. They're hardly going to say anything else.
Gamepass have done them 2 things.

Upfront cost, which covers some of their losses. Free advertising.

When outriders dropped on gamepass announcement, the entire internet was talking about it. Giving them free advertising. That is free money saved for them.

If Microsoft paid them $50m as upfront, that covers 1m sales unit. And quarter or half of development cost. Anything after that from sales is extra for them, and they gain sale money from pc and Playstation crowds too. More profits for them.
 

Guileless

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I think for a game like Outriders (or Avengers or Gotham knights etc) having a sufficient user base at launch is so critical that it makes sense to go for GP / PS+ or equivalent. You guarantee that some people will try it and that you won’t be a bust at launch, which is almost impossible to recover from.
Agreed, launching on Gamepass removed the risk of Outriders ending up like Lawbreakers.
 

CitizenZ

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Yea, its real difficult to do something when someone hand you $$$$$$ just to put it on their service no matter condition or quality.
 
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