News - Updated on April 14, 2022

Oddworld: Soulstorm Right at the time of release, they were handed out in PlayStation Plus on PlayStation 5. Probably, the developers were well paid if they agreed to this? Yes and No: Studio First Oddworld Inhabitants really believed that she had made a good deal, but then, due to a number of circumstances, the situation began to look less rosy.

Series Creator Oddworld Lorne Lanning talked about it on the Xbox Expansion Pass podcast. He describes the state of the studio at that moment thus:

  • Because of the pandemic Oddworld Inhabitants was in limbo: work processes were creaking, the studio needed money.

  • A deal is on the horizon with Sony about the launch Soulstorm via PlayStation Plus on PS5. The studio began to consider the risks. The game was supposed to be released in January 2021 – by then, Lanning reasoned, the PS5 circulation would be quite small, since COVID-19 would greatly interfere with shipments. As a result, the team was counting on a circulation in the region of 50,000 to 100,000 copies (most likely, only the PS5 is meant, and not all platforms at once).

  • The studio agreed to the deal. The exact amounts are not called, but they seemed to be more profitable than direct sales in the area up to 100,000 copies, – Oddworld Inhabitants thought she was doing everything right.

  • Lanning calls the PS Plus deal “devastating” for the game’s sales – according to the developer, such high interest from the audience shows that the PS5 circulation would be higher than 100,000 copies, and would bring in more money than a giveaway agreement.

Note that Lanning does not equate 4,000,000 plus copies with potential circulation. Yes, if Soulstorm were selling as usual, then the number of downloads would definitely not approach 4,000,000, but the circulation would still be higher than the studio’s forecasts and would be more profitable than a deal with Sony, says the developer. In addition, the studio greatly undermined future sales on PS5: due to the fact that the game was distributed for free, it was not so actively bought in the future, when it left the “plus”.

Gaming Market Analyst Paul Harding-Rolls notesthat’s the case with Oddworld can be cited as an example of a double-edged sword in the industry. On the one hand, a subscription is a guaranteed profit, but small, and on the other hand, sales are non-guaranteed, but large. In case of Soulstorm everything was aggravated by the situation in the studio: judging by Lanning’s comments, to finish the game without a deal with Sony it would be hard.

Lanning doesn’t blame Sony in his troubles, but later in the podcast he says that he thinks that Xbox Game Pass has a better business model than PlayStation Plus, at least for internal studios Microsoft. Like, thanks to the subscription rate, internal teams can not think about circulation and experiment more freely with games.

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