Lorne Lanning, creator of the Oddworld series, has claimed that the inclusion of his latest game, Oddworld: Soulstorm in PlayStation Plus as a monthly bundle game, was “devastating” to the game’s sales.
In a speech on the Xbox Expansion Pass podcast this week (transcribed by VGC), the veteran developer claimed that despite his studio Oddworld Inhabitants expecting about 50,000 to 100,000 copies of Oddworld: Soulstorm would be claimed in its time as a PS Plus free game, it was downloaded over 4 million times.
Lanning believes the studio thus missed out on profits due to the unexpected popularity of the title of Sony’s subscription service, which eroded potential sales.
PS Plus typically delivers its subscribers up to four PS4 and PS5 games each month as part of the subscription price.
“It’s a bit of a double-edged sword … I’ll give you an example around Soulstorm,” Lanning said when asked about PS Plus. He explained that he initially felt it was a necessity to make a PS Plus deal “to get the project done.”
“We hit a number of older technical debt and talent issues, and you know, the gaming industry is popping up fast, big companies are paying fortunes,” he explained.
Lanning said he was initially reluctant to give Soulstorm away on PS Plus due to the lack of PS5 consoles available in January 2021. However, the team eventually agreed, and Lanning said that “we thought we did a pretty good deal “.
He explained: “Most of what we could sell is less than the money we get … We sell maybe 50,000 units at launch, maybe 100,000 units. Those were pretty small numbers because there would not be many PS5s. “
Lanning claimed that the game performed significantly better than the team could have imagined due to the change in the release date.
“Because it slipped until April, we had the highest downloaded game on PS5, and it was approaching, I think, … close to four million devices or something like that for free, because they were all subscriptions. So for us, it was devastating.” .
Despite Lanning’s claims, many other developers have benefited from having their games included in PS Plus packages.
Following the viral success of Mediatonics Fall Guys, which also debuted on PlayStation Plus, the Steam version of the game would continue to sell more than 7 million copies. The game would also break the record as the most downloaded game in the history of the PlayStation Plus service.
Due to confidentiality agreements, developers are not allowed to discuss the exact details of their PS Plus game agreements, but it is understood that Sony typically pays a one-time fee to secure a title for the service.
It was recently claimed that Microsoft paid “between $ 5-10 million” to secure Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy for the Xbox Game Pass.