While Xbox Game Pass has proven time and again that it delivers immense value to virtually every type of gamer, this might not be as universally applicable when it comes to game developers. The Game Bakers, developer of 2016’s indie hack ‘n’ slash Furi, found itself in a bit of a predicament when it announced that it won’t release a new content update on Xbox, where it performed relatively poorly.
The Game Bakers announced that its new update for Furi wouldn’t launch on Xbox a while back, but the studio went into greater detail on why this is the case in a recent interview with Waypoint. There, company president Audrey Leprince explained that not only did Furi do poorly on Xbox in general, but that The Game Bakers’ newer title, Haven, doesn’t seem to have fared any better, either.
When The Game Bakers first announced that Furi was getting new-gen upgrades and content on all platforms but Xbox, a subset of the studio’s fans was disappointed and angry with this decision. Leprince, however, went on to explain that “the chances the investment was not going to recoup were high,” citing the provided in-house sale statistics. She added that the studio talked to Xbox representatives to try and get some support but discovered that Furi “didn’t align with the Game Pass strategy focused on new titles.”
When Haven launched on multiple platforms on February 4th, over 70% of its player base was playing via the Xbox Game Pass. At the same time, according to Leprince’s data, virtually nobody actually purchased the game on Xbox. This, combined with Furi‘s codebase being expensive to upgrade and port to all the different platforms, and the low odds of the game getting promoted on Xbox now that it’s a years-old release, led to The Game Bakers’ decision to skip the platform over.
Leprince did admit, however, that the studio’s decision to skip Xbox with Furi‘s Onnamusha DLC wasn’t set in stone. “We sincerely hope the DLC will be very successful so that we can bring it to Xbox in the near future,” she said. The Game Bakers’ revenue is likely to have been low due to most players using Xbox Game Pass to play its games, but Leprince was aware of the fact that the service can also be extremely helpful in getting visibility for indie projects.
With the majority of new games coming out on Xbox Game Pass, it’s to be expected that old titles – whether beloved or not – would get pushed out of the limelight sooner or later. In the specific case of Furi, the numbers made The Game Bakers think updating the Xbox build of the game wasn’t worth it. It’s a complex issue, and one that is likely to get brought up again in the future.
Furi is available now on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch platforms.
Source: The Game Bakers (via Vice)