Back in October 2020 we paused Early Access sales on Steam and announced that we were working on trying to secure the long-term future of Outscape. In this post we’ll update you on that and what’s happening next. Apologies that we haven’t been able to sooner, this was due to ongoing negotiations.
Outscape on Early Access
We launched on Steam Early Access back in 2019 and it was during this time that many of you took a bold bet, despite having no guarantee it would progress, on a new early access concept called Outscape. Some of you have been with us for even longer though – as far back as 2016 and the Alpha versions!
From the beginning we’ve been very fortunate and humbled to have been able to count on the support of a small but motivated community who took a chance on Outscape despite the risks of an Early Access game. Community input and participation has always been greatly appreciated and without it Outscape would not have progressed as far as it did.
Having a small (but dedicated) community has meant that we’ve always been heavily dependent on external funding. Reasonable growth was always needed to be able to feasibly continue to ask for more investment. However, for over a year growth has been flat at best and player numbers declining, therefore leaving no realistic prospect that the current model could be sustainable. Accordingly in October 2020 we paused further Early Access sales on Steam while we attempted to secure the long-term future of Outscape.
In its current form Outscape is too niche to interest the publishers we spoke to. We heard that although it’s incredibly appealing to a particular small market, significant changes would be needed for it to appeal widely enough for a chance of commercial success.
We had a lot of fun over the years and know that many of you did too. But the obvious position we’re in given the very small number of active players and a lack of funding is that we need to look at turning off servers, at least until we can re-launch with a new incarnation of the game.
What Happens Next
We’ve not given up hope! The possibility of bringing the game back one day remains. It’s clear that to do so would require big changes. But we do have a number of options up our sleeves e.g. working with a publisher to widen the game’s appeal and find a workable revenue model which at least sustains development, or open sourcing it and enabling others to continue (we need to look into the feasibility of this as we have licensed code and assets which cannot currently be distributed in source form).
We still believe some manifestation of the core concepts of Outscape has tremendous potential, even if it’s not the exact current implementation, and know that many of you share that sentiment. We’ve had lots of messages from excited players telling us they’ve been waiting years for a game like this!
Servers Remain Online for Two More Months
Despite the above and the very low number of active players, the current form of the game will be available for another two months (April 19th). Until then all galaxies will continue to run as normal and the devs are still monitoring the servers.
There is only a very small number of players active at the moment. But we hope two more months can give those of you that are still playing enough time to finish those games. A handful of Early Access copies were picked up just before we paused sales four months ago and we hope even those players will have been able to get good enjoyment value from Outscape over that time and the remaining two months.
We will continue to keep you updated with news about attempts to fix the reasons why Outscape wasn’t viable in the long term and hope to bring you another attempt further down the line. Apologies for not having more promising news for you, and once again thank you all for your incredible support over the years! As players ourselves we’ve never been part of such a fantastic community that you’ve formed around Outscape 🙂
Thanks everyone, keep safe and we’ll speak again soon!
– The Outscape Dev Team