One of the big questions leading up to the release of Outriders is whether or not the same would receive post-launch support in the form of new content or DLC. The game was billed as a “complete experience out of the box,” which is rare these days. Just about any online multiplayer game is considered a “Games-As-A-Service.”
The semantics surrounding Games-As-A-Service has confused the industry and consumers as well. Because so many games launch as an incomplete experience and the promise of robust post-launch plans (that rarely meet players’ expectations), the fact that People Can Fly was going against the grain was a welcomed surprise.
But it was also a warranted move. As a new IP, Outriders faced an uphill battle with its launch. Rarely are publishers willing to take a risk on a AAA title that isn’t already an established franchise.
So People Can Fly was taking the wait-and-see approach with Outriders. While they had plans for post-launch support in the form of gameplay balancing and bug fixes, they were waiting to see how players reacted to the game overall before committed to full-blown DLC. If there was positive reception, they were willing to create more content and adventures.
Well, the initial numbers are in and things are looking promising. Square Enix announced that Outriders surpassed 3.5 million unique players worldwide in its first month, from April 1 through May 1, 2021. The publisher boasted that Outriders “is on track to become the company’s next major franchise.”
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Franchises usually spawn spinoffs or sequels but I don’t think we’re quite there yet. I think we’ll see continued support for Outriders in the form of DLC first. And comments made Jon Brooke, Co-Head of Studio at Square Enix External Studios, seem to suggest that.
"“Launching a new game IP is never easy and we remain very grateful for the community’s support and feedback – we continue to listen carefully and want to assure everyone that we are committed to improving and enhancing the experience in the coming weeks and months. We also look forward to expanding on OUTRIDERS in the future.”"
While we don’t have exact sales numbers, it sounds like Square Enix considers Outriders a success. People Can Fly hasn’t released a longterm roadmap for the game, probably because they wanted to be flexible in their plans. Based on these comments, it sounds like some sort of DLC or expansion is now on the table.