The developer of visually enticing VR adventure game, Xing: The Land Beyond, is placing all its hopes on the upcoming PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR (PSVR) release after disappointing PC sales.
Developed by indie studio White Lotus Interactive with help from $30,100 raised via Kickstarter all the way back in 2013, Xing is a first-person game with both VR and standard display support that was long watched by the VR community (the Oculus Rift DK1 was the only known headset during the early 2013 campaign). After years of development, the game finally made it to Steam and the Oculus Store on September 21st 2017. However, in a recent update, the team spoke candidly about the game’s lackluster performance.
“To be honest, our sales haven’t been great,” Koriel Venus Kruer from White Lotus wrote, “despite the praise we’ve received from most of the people who have played.” While official figures weren’t disclosed, Xing has a ‘Very Positive’ average review holding on Steam from 51 reviews and a near 5-star rating from 37 reviews on the Oculus Store.
The studio pointed to several reasons for the game’s struggles, including the overly-saturated Steam market. “Once upon a time launching a game on Steam really meant something, but that is no longer the case for small developers like us,” Kruer noted, adding that only Oculus has continued to feature the game on its store page, which the team was “extremely grateful” for. Lack of marketing was also an issue, especially with audiences misunderstanding that the game is VR only (it isnt) and media coverage, which the developer intends to fix.
On top of all of that, the company has downsized from three to two, leaving just two people to work on the upcoming PS4/PSVR release.
“And yes, we are still living in our parents’ houses on a shoestring budget, and the company is currently in debt,” Kruer wrote. “Despite this, we continue to work on the game every week, hoping to get the PlayStation version out as soon as we possibly can.”
As such, White Lotus is betting it all on the console release. “If it seems like we are depending on the PlayStation launch to be successful, it’s because we are,” Kruer explained. “”Successful” to us = not in debt + can move out. Sony has a much larger reach than anyone else we’ve worked with, and their PS VR customers are hungry for more quality VR content.”
There’s also the fact that PSVR has now sold over two million units, which White Lotus says “is more than double the combined sales of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive combined”, though that’s never been officially confirmed. As such, the team hopes for hugely improved sales on Sony’s platform; Xing was shown on PSVR at last year’s PlayStation Experience but there’s currently no word on when it will release for all.
The PSVR version will ship with an exclusive level, though PC fans will also be getting an update adding another new mission inspired by Kickstarter stretch goals later in the year.