In our latest news roundup, Obsidian Entertainment have absolutely smashed sales expectations for The Outer Worlds, Rockstar have borked another PC port, and The Division 2's lack of Survival mode is a missed opportunity
Making The Cheddar
It's always a treat when a development studio breaks away from the trappings of established franchises and finds success with their own IP. According to Take Two, The Outer World's has gone above and beyond what they expected, and with a Switch port due sometime next year, this sci-fi RPG epic is off to a good start. The recent Microsoft buyout poses an interesting question re: exclusivity: will the inevitable sequel launch anywhere outside Microsoft's platforms?
We can't help feeling it might be a shame to restrict this one to a single box. Without specific numbers, there's no breakdown of percentage sales across Xbox One, PS4, and PC, but one has to imagine that Xbox Game Pass will have provided a significant boost in awareness and downloads. Even though the decision may be out of their hands, it's possible that a second game from Obsidian may get locked to Project Scarlett.
If Microsoft are looking to double down on Xbox Game Pass, securing the sequel as an exclusive might help drive initial sales of their next gen hardware. They may have no choice but to leverage their ownership of Obsidian to add value for early adopters, but doing this could potentially alienate fans who've already planted their flags elsewhere. It's a tricky one, and we likely won't get an answer for a while. Wherever it ends up, The Outer Worlds definitely has legs, and doesn't deserve to be a one and done release.
Drawing The Short Straw
Red Dead Redemption 2 launched on PC as a piping hot mess. The main problems centre on the now infamous (for all the wrong reasons) Rockstar launcher crashes, bugs aplenty, and system requirements that ask your desktop to be hot wired into NASA's mission control in order to achieve a stable 60fps. It's a pretty embarrassing state of affairs, leaving Rockstar scrambling to release hot fixes and patch the issues.
It speaks to broader problems with their support for PC, second perhaps only to Warner Bros. and their absolutely dreadful Arkham series ports. Given the amount of time between the infinitely more stable console launches on PS4 and Xbox One, there is absolutely no excuse for putting this out into the wild.
The radio silence is perhaps the biggest slap in the face; a lot of the graphical hiccups and gameplay hitching haven't really been addressed, which speaks to an apparent apathy that really doesn't do Rockstar any PR favours. Going forward, greater transparency would seem to be the better approach, and hopefully these issues will be swiftly resolved.
Campaign For Survival
Ubisoft have finally confirmed that they have no plans to bring the popular Survival mode from the first game back for The Division 2. This seems like a massively missed opportunity, and one that players (ourselves included) can't help but wish they would capitalise upon. It injected a refreshingly intense flavour to the original title, and although its sale as premium DLC will have limited their audience to the more hardcore faithful, the second game has seen great success with its live service / free update approach.
We feel that Survival leans in to the elements that should have been the focus of this franchise from the beginning. Given that the narrative takes place in the aftermath of a pandemic, it always felt like the consequences and challenges of living in that world were a tad under cooked, and Survival was a way for them to have their post apocalyptic cake and eat it too.
It's a story thread worth unravelling, and perhaps something that Ubisoft will revisit in the future. For the time being, The Division 2 continues to expand with sizeable free updates, and it's entirely possibly that a version of this may yet see the light of day.