Outriders gains 3.5 million players since launch as Square Enix hints at sequel
Game Pass has helped co-op shooter Outriders to a hugely successfully launch, with Square Enix describing it as their ‘next big franchise’.
Game companies are always complaining how hard it is to start new franchises, and yet some of the biggest games of the previous generation were brand new IP – from Overwatch to Fortnite.
Outriders hasn’t reached quite that level of success yet, but it’s only been out for just over a month and yet already has over 3.5 million players.
That’s in large part thanks to the fact that the game is on Xbox Game Pass, so while a significant number of players never paid for it separately it does mean many more got to play it than otherwise would have.
Even if only a small proportion of Xbox players end up buying the game, Square Enix were still compensated by Microsoft, causing the Japanese publisher to describe it as being ‘poised to be the company’s next big franchise’.
That’s despite a somewhat mixed critical reception (although we generally liked it) and significant problems at launch, with many unable to get online with it until up to three days later.
That doesn’t seem to have put many people off though, with the average play time being over 30 hours and Square Enix claiming ‘extremely high engagement for co-operative play’.
The implication is that a sequel is now all but guaranteed, although it’s much too early for an official announcement.
Outriders is the work of Polish developer People Can Fly and is one of the few successes Square Enix has had with a Western made title that is not by a studio they own (such as Tomb Raider maker Crystal Dynamics).
As you can imagine, People Can Fly are over the moon about the game’s success and have thanked fans for their support and promised they will ‘continue to listen carefully’ to their concerns.
There was some surprise when Microsoft signed the game up to Game Pass, given they would’ve had to pay Square Enix a lot to have it on there from launch, but it seems to have worked out for all concerned and suggests it probably won’t be the last time it happens with a new game.
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