Outriders, an upcoming first-person-loot-shooter from developer People Can Fly and publisher Square Enix, will soon be landing at an Xbox near you. The space game will be launching on Game Pass on day one of release, illustrating a stark price disparity with competing systems.
The news comes from an Xbox blog post by the Game Pass community lead Megan Spurr, who makes the announcements a few days after the Game Pass Twitter account started hinting at the game.
There's probably a hint about a game in here somewhere honestly we can't even keep up with all the announcements lately pic.twitter.com/Qz6LmX1Cs4
— Xbox Game Pass (@XboxGamePass) March 12, 2021
Eagle-eyed detectives were able to trace the “mysterious signal” wording back to a Square Enix press release from the prior year. Not that the sleuthing was all that necessary, considering the official announcement came just a few days later, but still, nice to figure out.
The game launching on Xbox Game Pass is a major coup for the subscription service, as it represents the potential for other major third-party partners putting a game on the service on day one and eschewing what is thought of as traditional sales. Outriders on Game Pass will likely reach more people than Outriders might for $60 on store shelves. For Square Enix, they take some guaranteed money from Microsoft and likely prep the game better for moneymaking opportunities like DLC down the road.
Moreover, it’s a great comparison point for Microsoft to make on an anticipate game’s launch day: pay $60 on PlayStation 4 or 5 or PC or subscribe to Game Pass and get the game as part of a larger service. It makes a pretty big marketing point without ever needing to actually point it out.
All that said, it is important to note that Outriders is only hitting Xbox Game Pass and not its PC brethren. While there’s likely some business reasons for this, Microsoft’s efforts to establish PC Game Pass as an equivalent service falter when their third party partners like Square Enix and Electronic Arts treat it as a different and unequal audience.
Outriders launches on Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC on April 1.