Why ‘Outriders’ Should Adopt The Live Service Model ASAP

Outriders, the new RPG shooter from People Can Fly and Square Enix, has been around the world for almost two weeks. Millions of players have traveled to the beautiful and dangerous alien world of Enoch to venture beyond the border of the colony and explore the mysteries of the planet. But here on Earth, shiny new games compete for players’ attention every week, if not every day. can OutridersThe approach of delivering all the content they had to offer in the box, day one, keeping the game going long enough to establish itself as a hit? Or will the behind-the-scenes teams need to deliver a roadmap, at the very least, to prevent players from leaving the ship? Should they embrace the state of the gaming industry in the 21st century and change Outriders in a live service game?

There are a lot of questions, but before you answer them (or attempt to), it’s worth keeping in mind that People Can Fly and Square Enix can already count. Outriders as a success. That metric depends on what they wanted from the game’s release. If they were aiming for decent sales numbers and a sizable player base up front, this and nothing else going forward, they could argue in favor of calling Outriders exit. And given that they were quite vocal about not marketing the game as a looting shooter or a games title as a service, on the surface it seems they should be happy with the first few numbers, happy enough to walk away. hold by itself.

But there are a couple of things that complicate that approach: the fact that even single player campaigns cannot be enjoyed offline and that the team working hard behind the scenes has been working around the clock to make sure Outriders experience is the best it can be for as many people as possible. That … sounds like a live service game to me.

Image via Square Enix, People Can Fly

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Sure, if you release a game in 2021 and beyond, especially a game with the required online components, you are basically expected to support it as long as it is viable. This fact in and of itself does not mean that Square Enix and People Can Fly plan to do this in the long term. However, if you are going to put all that effort into maintaining a game with live service fixes … you can also run it as a live service game. They’re already doing it, just without the benefits of new content roadmaps, potentially lucrative microtransactions, and a healthy marketplace. Basically they are doing the work of a live service game with no perks. And with him Outriders The player base is expected to shrink rather than grow the further we get from the release date, that pain point will grow as well … unless they switch to a GaaS focus.

Currently, and at the time of writing this article specifically, Outriders Steam players peaked at just over 72,000 in the last 24 hours, good enough for 15th overall. Concurrent players of the game on Steam put it in the company of similar games like Destiny 2 Y Warframe but far behind the top 5 titles of the platform, such as CS: GO, dota 2, GTA V, Apex legends, Y PUBG. Other titles, many of which have been available longer than Outriders‘two weeks, continue to enjoy a healthy player base, such as Valheim, Oxide, Y Team Fortress 2 (although that last game has a serious bot problem.)

Those two weeks of Steam data for Outriders it’s also good enough to give us a daily work average (~ 71k) and a max player base (~ 125k). As a point of comparison, Destiny 2, which has been out for three and a half years, has averaged ~ 72,000 players daily since Fall 2019. That average has obviously been up and down over the last year and a half, although the title peaked at over 292k, easily more than double Outriders‘debut peak. When did that peak come? October 2019, paired with the relaunch of Destiny 2 as the free live service model.

Bungie Doubled the Increase in Interest by Also Releasing the Title on Next-Gen Xbox Series X Consoles | S and PS5, and the Google Stadia cloud gaming platform. And while the Destiny 2 Community experiences rise in popularity in sync with new expansions, updates, seasonal events, annual passes and more, players keep coming back because the content keeps flowing. Not so for Outriders; at least not yet. The People Can Fly game might choose to go in that direction if they decide to do so, if they hope to give Outriders numbers like Destiny 2 or even better for the next two years.

Image via Square Enix, People Can Fly

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The other half of a game’s metrics these days is audience on live streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming. Once upon a time, the only thing that mattered was accurate sales figures, and the positive buzz was a cherry on top of a game’s performance and a feather on the edge for marketing teams. Now, livestream audiences have to be part of the plan from conception to launch and throughout the life of the game until the inevitable sequel, should the title succeed.

On Twitch, Outriders peaked on launch day, unsurprisingly, and has since established itself around the 20th most popular game / category on the platform. The highest numbers of viewers are still somewhat inflated by the most popular Twitch streamers who give Outriders a temporary spotlight before returning to your variety show or tried-and-true games; the streamers maining Outriders Now, just two weeks later, there are those who hope to further build their channel and community at the back of the game and those who really love it, with a fair amount of crossover between the two. I’m excited that Outriders It currently has a dedicated community, but the only way to grow both the player base and the viewer base is to introduce new content to the game in the coming months. And that is not the intention of People Can Fly.

Last year, Outriders creative director Bartosz Kmita He said IGN:

“When we started our game and realized that the story is so important, we realized that if we made a game as a service, we would probably start breaking everything down into sub-contents. We didn’t want to do this because the story was very important to us. We think there are a lot of great games on the market, and people might not have more time to spend 300 hours basically shredding an item. ”

This was, of course, the line of thought prior to the COVID pandemic. The demo launch only showed that, yes, people had more free time than before and that, yes, a certain subset was more than happy to grind the same few events over and over again for legendary loot. That fact alone should have made People Can Fly take notice and at least consider preparing more content for post-launch channelings. Maybe they did. They may be waiting until they fix their current bugs that are causing problems before returning to the content group. I really hope they are, because the Outriders The story, while not groundbreaking, is an exciting new original IP that PCF should be proud of.

This base game feels like an origin story, a beginning, a first chapter in a potentially huge franchise that could take the main character deeper into Enoch and possibly beyond. But just like the potential of other titles Anthem Y Marvel Avengers, it can be easily wasted with some bad decisions.

Cut off Outriders Kneeling after all the hard work teams and players have put in would be a waste. There’s a huge upside here, but it would require a roadmap of new content, seasonal events, DLC and expansions, and ultimately sequels that would continue to build on the solid foundation of a story. There are many examples in the video game industry of how to make this display right … or how to screw it up in an epic way. As a fan of this game, as someone who wants to see more of their world, I sincerely hope that PCF will consider their approach. Outriders and opt for a franchise instead of just one. The ultimate success of your freelance game could depend on it.

KEEP READING: ‘Outriders’ Review – Come For The Loot, Stay For The Story, And Embrace The Endgame

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