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Sometimes PlayStation Plus doesn’t really help studios

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The studio behind Oddwold Soulstorm has told how its game’s integration with PlayStation Plus has been “devastating”.

For some time now, the video game industry has been tending to adopt an à la carte mode of consuming video games, with subscription services such as Xbox Game Pass, Stadia and other cloud gaming enthusiasts, or even PlayStation Plus, which unveiled its new formulas. If this allows players to enjoy more games without buying them individually, it is an approach that can sometimes harm development studios.

This is the case of Oddworld Inhabitants, the studio behind the latest Oddworld Soulstorm. Remember, almost a year ago this sequel to the popular title was released Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty! It was originally planned as a temporary console exclusive for PlayStation, in addition to being released on Windows PC. It was therefore available for purchase from April 6, 2021 on PS4 and PS5, but also in the PlayStation Plus catalog for PS5 players.

Millions of sales that pass under their noses

Interviewed as part of the Xbox Expansion Pass podcast, Lorne Lanning, of the Oddworld Inhabitants studio, revealed some details on the simultaneous release of the PlayStation Plus catalog, which had an extremely negative impact on sales ofOddworld Soulstorm.

Prior to this period, the studio aimed to sell between 50,000 and 100,000 units of the title worldwide. A rather modest figure when you consider the staggering figures of other PlayStation exclusives, which can go up to ten million. Lorne Lanning also confesses that the studio needed financial assistance to ensure the continued development of the game, even after its release.

It is for this reason that he was then approached by Sony, who offered him an agreement. In exchange for integrating the title with PlayStation Plus, the studio received an amount that we do not know, but which seemed fair enough for the studio to accept. Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant thatOddworld Soulstorm has been delayed for several months, shifting its release date from January to April.

In the meantime, the number of players who have been able to get their hands on a PS5 has practically doubled, going from 4.5 million at the start of January to nearly 8 million at the end of March. This therefore means that even more players than expected were able to access Oddworld Soulstorm via PlayStation Plus. In total, the title has been downloaded more than 4 million times.

Knowing that this figure does not change the money promised by Sony at the signing of the contract, the development studio therefore missed a golden opportunity to sell its game. This is why Lorne Lanning himself describes that “for us it was devastating“.

Sony does not want this situation to happen to it

Of course, in many cases, this visibility is actually beneficial to the studios taking advantage of it, especially if players can get their hands on DLC, or even perform micro-transactions afterwards. But with this story, we understand better why Sony does not want to make its large licenses available from the day of their release to the PlayStation Plus catalog, even after its redesign which will be effective in June.

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