The Outriders’ studio head on making a loot shooter without microtransactions

Outriders is slated to come out this holiday season on current and next generation platforms, but it won’t coming with one thing: microtransactions. In our interview with People Can Fly Studio Head Sebastian Wojciechowski, he emphasized how the game will not have any of those pesky microtransactions that other games have and how it won’t be a games as a service title. He, along with Lead Level Designer Rafal Pawlowski, also spoke to us about the game’s lack of microtransactions, approach to combat, and more.

GameRevolution: How did People Can Fly land on making Outriders, especially after Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgment?

Sebastian Wojciechowski: It was pretty easy. When we went independent, we had to come up with the concept for our next game, And when you go independent and you want to find a publisher, you are not going to dramatically change the genre so making it a shooter was an obvious choice because we are a shooter studio.

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Second, we wanted to make a different shooter than we were making so far. The market is evolving and we found out that the majority of people that were involved in making decisions were RPG players so we felt it was a great combination. We felt we were disrupting the genre by putting those two genres together.

The third thing that we wanted from this game was for it to be co-op from the get-go as well as another single-player experience. The fourth thing was we also wanted this to be played from a third-person perspective because of the fact that we have loot in the game and you are finding great armor and weapons. So we want you to experience seeing this rather than just seeing your friends’ armor.

And the fifth thing we wanted to do was something in a dark sci-fi universe rather than shiny, colorful one. Those five pillars made us come up with the idea to create Outriders.

GR: There are a lot of co-op loot shooters out there from The Division 2 to Destiny 2 to Anthem. How do you think your game will fit into that market? These games take a commitment and it’s hard to stick out and grab players from other games.

SW: One thing that distinguishes us from those games is story. Story is super important to us and we are representing this through cutscenes and a strong narrative and storytelling within the game. There are four hours of cutscenes in the game and that are selling the story and lore of the world we’ve created.

Gamers cannot play everything on the market so we do have to distinguish ourselves from other games. But I feel like it isn’t just our story distinguishing us.

Rafal Pawlowski: Yeah, of course. We struggled with the mix of gunplay with powers with short cooldowns. That’s makeup for very high-octane action, which is very important for us as well. I believe that we achieved that. It’s the synergy of the gameplay, story, and setting. We wanted it to be very dark. When that’s all together, it’s a different game.

GR: The game does have short cooldowns. Is that there to push the player to play more aggressively?

SW: I think you can [if you want]. You can play behind cover and not get into close range. We don’t have any assumptions about how the player will be playing this game, right? We give them the tools and let them develop their character in a way that will suit their gameplay and they can decide to play the game the way they want to play.

The only thing that player needs to choose from the get-go that defines them through the end is the class. That’s the only thing. And even if they choose one class, they will have them experience some other classes through other skills and modifications but you can never get the same experience as if you chose that class.

RP: But also all classes support healing.

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GR: But there is a cover system in the game and I didn’t use it very much. I’m guessing you’re saying it’s because I didn’t want to play that way so I didn’t have to.

SW: If there is someone who loves sniping, they can sit behind cover and enjoy headshots and that kind of gameplay.

GR: So this game won’t have microtransactions, correct?

SW: Correct.

GR: So how are you planning on supporting it?

SW: We are going to give you the complete experience in the box so you will get the whole game from the beginning to the end, including the endgame. So everything will be, from the get-go, on the disc that you are going to buy.

That was one of our decisions that we made at the very beginning. We wanted to make a game that we wanted to make but also wanted to play. And as gamers, we are old school gamers. We don’t necessarily want to participate in microtransactions.

And if you are suddenly playing and you need to buy something in order to progress… Well, that’s not how we want to put on our players.

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GR: The game is coming to the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Will they launch at the same time as the current generation?

SW: Yes. Launch window.

GR: How is working on the next generation?

SW: We are treating this as a reveal event. We want everybody to experience the game for the first three hours rather than talk about hardware and that kind of stuff. That’s why we decided that we will only talk about the game this time and about how cool it is. Later, we will talk about either a new class or about hardware specifications and whatnot.

outriders preview

GR: The classes all have different abilities and seem to bounce off each other. Are they made to coordinate?

RP: The synergy between classes was one thing that was always very important to us. The origins of those abilities also come from the Anomaly [the storm that ravages you and the planet] and the effect it has on you and the breakdown of classes shows that you have control over different forces of nature. That came into play when it came to creating those skills.

We want you to be able to choose different skills and classes that are different from one another and let you choose between different loadouts to create your own playstyle.

SW: And we are not limiting players. You can have the same three classes in a three-person co-op game.

RP: You can three Tricksters or whatever class you like and there are synergies between those as well. And also later in the game, you will find synergies between items that will empower you more and let you upgrade your character.

GR: Is there anything you want to say during your big Outriders reveal?

RP: This game is big so you can expect a lot more. You only played two or three hours but it’s just a fraction of what you can expect.

SW: We are excited to show the game to the world and see how the gamers will react because we believe this is the best game we’ve ever made.