Starbreeze will have to do some restructuring after the licensed-based co-op shooter, Overkill’s The Walking Dead, turned out to be a much bigger flop than they anticipated. The company is now lowering sales expectations for the game, gearing up to provide a second season worth of DLC for the title, and attempting to get back to core business strategies moving forward.
This was all outlined in a note to shareholders over on the official StarBreeze website, where CFO Sebastian Ahlskog admitted that Overkill’s The Walking Dead has bombed in sales…
“We will not be able to recognize the license fee from 505 Games for Overkill’s The Walking Dead as revenue until after the end of the fourth quarter, while initial sales revenues from the game are lower than expected. This will have negative impact on fourth-quarter earnings, but our target of positive EBITDA for Q4 stands,”
They try to blame the game’s poor revenue figures on Russian and Chinese gamers driving the price down due to the lower price of units sold in those regions, but the Steam Charts reveal that the Chinese/Russian blame game is a load of bollocks, given that the playercount has been dwindling since launch, and it only ever attained a maximum count of 14,000 players in October before averaging a peak of just 4,000 players throughout November.
Starbreeze chairman, Michael Hjorth, commented that despite the disappointing sales, they were still planning on developing more content for the game as part of the “season 2” roll out…
“This is disappointing, of course, but we have a base to work with in regards to the number of games sold. We have a pulse of concurrent players, which is essential to future performance within the framework of our Games as a Service concept. The team is working at full capacity to deliver improvements to the game and new content, and Season 2 will be starting soon”
It’s pretty obvious that, as pointed out by PC Gamer, the game is unlikely to ever reach the success of Payday 2.
It looks like even attempting to try to court the phantom audience with a “diverse” selection of characters wasn’t enough to help bring in gamers, which is further proof that simply adding women to action games doesn’t bring more women to the consumer table.
They also managed to fail to court any of the traditional gamers from the Payday 2 market pool due to the game’s passe gameplay, uninspired visuals, and lackluster story. That’s not to mention that the TV show that the game is based on jumped the shark a long time ago.
The only possible recourse that Starbreeze has is that Overkill’s The Walking Dead won’t be releasing on PS4 and Xbox One until 2019, which could potentially give them some additional sales, but it’s unlikely that it will compensate for the game’s already slow sales start.
(Thanks for the news tip Quickshooter)