In the case of the Outriders game, for example, the Polish studio says that partnerships such as Xbox Game Pass meant that no money was available…
Outriders took a good start, as in one month, it pulled in three and a half million players, with some good reviews to boot. (Then again, that player count was somewhat distorted by Xbox Game Pass, as the game launched right into it.) In a Polish language post, Sebastian Wojciechowski, the president of the studio’s board, claims that they still did not receive royalties after Outriders!
“We don’t have any sales figures for Outriders — we estimate it at between 2 and 3 million units and assume that this was a result that would ensure profitability for this project in the first quarter of sales. The lack of payment by the Publisher probably means that, according to Square Enix, this is not the case,” Wojciechowski wrote.
He then speculates on what the potential reason could be: “Perhaps it was caused by some elements of Square Enix’s sales policy, the details of which we do not know, such as partnerships concluded by the Publisher with distribution platforms or entities offering Outriders as an addition to their products. Failure to achieve the level of profitability may also mean that the costs incurred by the Publisher are higher than expected. But I don’t want to speculate; we will analyze the situation further. It is worth noting, however, that such explanations take time and our influence on the Publisher’s position is limited.”
They are still hopeful: “The sales tail of the Outriders game is ahead of us. We are working on further development support for this game, and I hope to share some details soon. We are also counting on further promotional activities on the part of the Publisher. Despite this disappointing information, we believe that the first royalties from the sale of Outriders will be received by the Company this year,” Wojciechowski added.
Let’s hope that Square Enix doesn’t screw them over…