The game’s disappointing sales “will have negative impact on fourth-quarter earnings” for Starbreeze.
Overkill’s The Walking Dead received lukewarm reception – at best – from fans and critics alike upon its launch on PC earlier this month, and given that it was already coming out in a crowded season of big releases, most people would have expected that its sales would be affected as a result. Its stats for concurrent players on Steam were quite low at launch as well, and it seems that disappointing performance on the market has carried on for the game.
Publishers Starbreeze recently sent out a press release confirming that sales revenue from Overkill’s The Walking Dead has been lower than expected, and that this has negatively impacted their earnings for the fourth quarter of the year. They are due a licensing fee from 505 Games, who will be publishing the game on consoles in 2019, but since that fee can’t be recognized until after the end of the quarter, Starbreeze can’t count it towards their revenues for now.
“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,” said Starbreeze CFO Sebastian Ahlskog. “This will have negative impact on fourth-quarter earnings, but our target of positive EBITDA for Q4 stands.”
As a result, Starbreeze will now be reviewing their costs and doubling down on their “core business” and “ensuring delivery of our most important games” in order to keep their revenue healthy. “We have initiated a review of our costs to ensure better alignment with our revenues,” said Ahlskog. “We are designing a program towards that end, naturally while keeping a careful eye on revenue development. We must focus on our core business and ensure delivery of the company’s important games.”
That said, the publisher promises that players can also expect improvements to be made to Overkill’s The Walking Dead soon. “This is disappointing, of course, but we have a base to work with in regards to the number of games sold,” Starbreeze Chairman Michael Hjorth said. “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.”
In our own review, we called Overkill’s The Walking Dead “a fun title that is bogged down by a combination of bugs and confusing design decisions.” You can read the full review through here.