Reports have emerged, revealing that Outriders hasn’t made a profit for developer People Can Fly or publisher Square Enix. A director’s report from People Can Fly gave us a detailed look at its financial situation. Square Enix hasn’t made any kind of announcement regarding this just yet, but more information regarding Outriders‘ profitability may come with its 2021 report later in May. This has been an ongoing issue between the developer and publisher for quite some time, though.
People Can Fly expected to receive a royalty fee from Square Enix last August, but the developer never received that fee throughout the course of 2021. Square Enix never told People Can Fly how many copies of the game had sold. This, in combination with the lack of payment, led many to assume that Outriders had not made enough revenue to qualify for the royalty fee. And now, over a year after its release, People Can Fly believes that Outriders may never be profitable.
Outriders hasn’t made a profit
The report goes on to say that “there can be no assurance that net proceeds from the sale of Outriders in future periods will be sufficient for the publisher to recover the costs incurred and to pay royalties to the Group.”
Game development is an expensive business, and the idea that Outriders may not have made a profit is rough. Square Enix also has full IP and publishing rights for Outriders as a brand, and it’s important to note that the game was far from a commercial or critical failure. In its first month, it had more than 3.5 million unique players, with Square Enix calling it the company’s “next major franchise.” This number was likely boosted due to its release on Xbox Game Pass.
Regardless, this is one of the few western IPs that Square Enix kept, and it still has some big plans for the game. In fact, the release of Outriders‘ Worldslayer expansion is coming later this year on June 30. It’s a tough situation for People Can Fly, and there doesn’t seem to be much it can do about it. Time will tell whether Outriders can eventually more profitable in the future.