Multiplayer looter shooter Outriders has seemingly still not recovered its development, distribution, and publishing costs. As reported by Eurogamer Poland, developer People Can Fly has not received any royalties from the game’s first quarter of sales, meaning it hasn’t reached the level of sales required by Square Enix to start paying out those royalties.
Square Enix will distribute royalties once the game recovers its production, distribution, and promotion costs. This money will then be paid out every quarter. The first quarter of sales would cover April to June 2021, but because there is a 45 day payment period following the end of the quarter, People Can Fly has only just found out they won’t be receiving royalties yet.
The situation has been made more difficult because Square Enix is refusing to disclose any sales figures to the developer. Sebastian Wojciechowski, President of the PCF Group that owns People Can Fly said:
We estimate it at between 2 and 3 million copies and assumed that this was a result that would ensure the project’s profitability in the first quarter of sales. If the publisher fails to pay, it probably means that Square Enix doesn’t think that is the case. Failure to achieve profitability levels may also mean that publisher costs are higher than expected.
People Can Fly is now hoping to receive royalty payments in the next quarter. In the meantime, the developer will continue working on the title and they’re hoping Square Enix will continue to promote it too. However, the uncertainty over the situation has convinced them to publish future titles themselves.
The news is somewhat surprising bearing in mind Square Enix had already said the game was set to become their “next major franchise” following a player count of more than 3.5 million in its first month of release. This was despite a rocky launch with server issues that wiped many players’ progress. The developer carried out character and inventory restorations to resolve the problem and even issued a free Community Appreciation Package as an apology. The game’s latest patch arrived at the end of July and buffed several player classes and mods for armor and weapons.[Source: Eurogamer Poland]