You wouldn’t think Xbox Game Pass would drive game sales, but Microsoft routinely says that is the case. During a Take-Two earnings call yesterday, CEO Strauss H. Zelnick was asked whether being on Xbox Game Pass “helped or hurt the success of that franchise [The Outer Worlds]?”
Zelnick replied, “it’s hard to say. I think what we’ve said all along is that, generally speaking, we want to be where the consumer is.” Zelnick continued that the company is “pleased that the title is such a big hit, it’s sold in more than 2 million units and it’s won 75 game awards.”
Zelnick went on to explain how it’s “early days” for platforms like Game Pass, but their goal is to get their games where the consumer is. “We’re ecumenical and we’re open minded.”
And part of that aim to be where the consumer is means The Outer Worlds is coming to Nintendo Switch. But that version is being delayed from its original March 6 release date because of the coronavirus outbreak in China. The Chinese team handling the port, Virtuos Games, has been closed since the outbreak began.
The team at Virtuos is doing fine according to Private Division (a publisher under Take-Two), but the offices remain closed. Private Division promised to update everyone on the new release date once they know. It’ll be at least April since Take-Two announced a delay into the next fiscal year (which starts in April).
While measuring Xbox Game Pass’ effect, good or bad, is “hard to say” for Take-Two, the game still “significantly exceeded our expectations.” What is clear is that the success of The Outer Worlds continues to reinforce that gamers want quality single-player games. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was also a big hit for EA recently.
I know everyone wants the next Fortnite, but you can find plenty of success crafting a fantastic single-player world too.
What about The Outer Worlds moving forward? Is it a Take-Two game, or Microsoft now that they own Obsidian Games? In a 2017 chat with Game Informer, Obsidian’s Tim Cain said the “retain ownership of the IP.” And with them being bought out by Microsoft, it will likely be an Xbox/PC game moving forward.