What The Success of Outriders Tells Us, Warts and All (Outsider’s Outlook)

Outriders has sold well, well enough to get onto the coveted No. 01 spot on Steam; it even managed to climb up to No. 06 on the UK’s Top 10 best-selling games of the week! That Outrider has, in its first week, become bigger than Avengers over its eight months of shelf life, must come as a shock to Square Enix, the publisher behind both games. One title is based on the dominant movie franchise of our day, while the others is a small–humble, even–project by a double-A studio with a history of cheeky, wonky games with big guns, a labour of love without maddening monetization practices of any kind; Avengers never stood a chance.

Ultimately,the remarkable show just how deep the hunger for a good (or even competent) looter shooter runs. The repeated failures of titles such as Anthem and Avengers, as well as the vertigo Destiny 2 causes its playerbase every six months, have left those who adore the genre without good options. Outriders might not offer quite as excellent a gunplay as Destiny 2 and it might not make the lofty promises of Anthem, but it doesn’t need to; what it promised, it has delivered. An instantaneous feeling of power, an array of decimating weapons around which to build your character, and a story whose opening hours I can describe as nothing so much as “cringy fun”!

And the warts? We can’t very well be blind to those server issues and multiplatform bonanza going on – but I suspect at least a portion of those issues are the result of a level of success People Can Fly did not anticipate. At the very least, it seems the folks at People Can Fly will show contrition and hand everyone a “community appreciation package,” which is just the kind of thing you’d expect flying people to leave at your doorstep, virtual or otherwise. I’ve not played the full-release version myself, as I’m confident Xbox Game Pass will eventually make a PC version materialise on their service; but I know a few folks who have been playing it since release, and they can’t stop gushing over the fun Outriders offers.

My hope is that, following the undeniable success of Outriders, at least some Triple-A publishers will take note and allow their subservient studios to create more original looter shooters unburdened by despicable monetary practices such as lootboxes, overpriced cosmetics, and a dozen other horrible “live service features”. The odds are slim – but success has done stranger things than this.

Have you played Outriders? What’re your impressions of the game? Leave your comments down below!

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