The Game Bakersa 12-person French studio responsible for titles like Haven Y Squids Odysseybecame known within the scene indie thanks to furya colorful and frenetic boss rush premiered in 2016 for PC and PS4, where it was included at launch on PlayStation Plus. At the end of that year it was also released for Xbox One, and in 2018, for Nintendo Switch. Six years after the title became a small cult game, the creators have announced a DLC, Onnamushato arrive on May 17 with a new character with unprecedented abilities and cost 6.99 euros on all platforms… except on Xbox One, where it won’t come out.
The decision to let go of the Microsoft machine has mad at those who bought the game. The developers say they understand the frustration in an interview with Waypointbut they excuse themselves by showing data of the low sales in said consoles, going so far as to affirm that the indies that are not on Xbox Game Pass are not successful. “We listen to all of you who have played fury on Xbox and we understand your frustration. We are a small independent team and couldn’t find the time and budget to do this port“, they said in a message on Twitter on May 4, a day after the announcement of the DLC.
Furi never captured a lot of attention on Xbox and unfortunately we had to prioritize platforms. We hope to be developing for Xbox again in the future. Thank you for supporting our games.—The Game Bakers (@TheGameBakers) May 4, 2022
“fury never got much attention on xbox and unfortunately we had to prioritize platforms,” they explain. “We hope to develop for Xbox again in the future. Thank you for supporting our games.” In the aforementioned interview, Audrey Leprince, co-founder and president of the studio, lists all the work that goes into the update: “Apart from the game design, the code and the assets for the new [personaje]we needed update the old game completely on all platforms“. This entails “upgrading the engine, SDKs [kits de desarrollo de software]the middlewareall platform-specific content, test all those builds, pass the platform control and post it again.
Work implies time, and this DLC, explains Leprince, has been developed in a small space of time in which the next The Game Bakers project was on hiatus. And time is money, and from the data it shows, in Xbox neither fury neither Haven have earned income substantial. The fault lies with Game Pass, and in part, also with PS Plus. Haven premiere from launch day on Microsoft’s subscription service, but also on Steam, Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox and other PC stores.
What the graphs above this paragraph (on the left with Game Pass in mind and on the right without) show is that the majority of gamers come from the service, but if only sales are looked at, Xbox represents a tiny percentage in a market dominated by Steam and Switch. But the following graph shows that the situation is similar with PlayStation Plusalthough not so extreme: fury was released on PS+ and 78% of its players come from there, but if the service is not taken into account, PS4 players only represent 7%.
“We’re grateful for the opportunities that partners like Sony and Xbox have given us”, says the representative of the French studio, making it clear that they could not have financed their games (whose development costs between 1.5 and 3 million euros depending on the case) without the Game Pass agreements and PlayStation Plus. Perhaps this situation cannot be extrapolated to other studies, but the data shared by The Game Bakers they demolish the discourse repeated by the giants of the industry when they claim that being on subscription services generates more sales by increasing the visibility of the game.
The French studio’s vision is clear: “Game Pass is a fantastic platform for gamers, and there are possibly more Xbox gamers than ever interested in independent video games. Unfortunately, without Game Pass, it is very difficult for many indie games to have visibility on Xbox“.